Tokai Carbon has announced that is is delaying two planned carbon black expansions in China and Thailand due to uncertainty in the market as automakers slash output in Asia.
In Thailand, Tokai planned to expand from 110,000 tonnes/year to 180,000 t/y by spring 2010 by adding a production line and upgrading the manufacturing process. However, the company has decided to proceed only with the process improvements, which will raise capacity to 130,000 t/y. The addition of a new line would cost 4-5 billion yen ($40 million to $50 million), so the project will be delayed for a year or two in order to assess the state of the market.
In China, Tokai had planned to spend 6 billion yen ($60 million) to raise production at its new plant in Tianjin from 40,000 t/y to 100,000 t/y by year-end 2009. Now this project will be delayed by at least six months, to mid-2010 at the earliest.