Indian tyre manufacturer Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT) is to reach full production – at a capacity of nearly 130,000 tonnes – at its Bhuj carbon black (CB) plant by 2021. The plant has a CB production output of 80,000 tonnes as of the second quarter of financial year 2019.
BKT is the only company in the Indian tyre industry that has its own CB production plant, with around 50% of the CB produced being used in BKT’s tyre manufacturing process, while the remaining 50% is sold on the market. The four year-old Bhuj production site is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery over 160 hectares of land and is close to the vital logistics hub of the Mundra commercial port, both of which provides a great strategic advantage for BKT. The Bhuj research and development (R&D) centre is also where BKT’s tyres are designed and developed.
Currently,80,000 MT of the present CB production are in hard grade and a further 50,000 MT in soft grade is under commissioning. BKT intends to increase its global market share in the Off-Highway tyre segment by raising its current figure of 6% to 10% by 2025.
As vertical integration of CB in the tyre production process is essential for the development of the Bhuj production site, Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director of BKT, said: “This significant US$75 million investment (initially US$23 million) provides vital raw material within the tyre manufacturing supply chain; not only does the new plant provide us with manufacturing independence, but it also ensures a better quality of our raw materials, since we have now precise upstream control over the entire process.”