Himadri Speciality to expand speciality carbon black capacity

carbon blackIndia’s Himadri says it will expand its carbon black capacity to meet the increasing demand from Europe amid an impending ban on Russian carbon black imports in the EU. The Kolkata-based speciality chemicals major will expand its speciality carbon black capacity in a brownfield expansion project in West Bengal.

The expansion, scheduled to be operational within the next 18 months and located at Singur in the Hooghly district, will be funded through internal accruals.

This additional capacity of 70,000 tonnes/year will increase the company’s speciality carbon black capacity to 1.3 million tonnes/year, the company added.

“We foresee a significant uptick in demand for speciality carbon black, especially with the impending ban on Russian carbon black imports into the European Union. The gradual increase in the proportion of high-margin speciality carbon black will undoubtedly enhance our profitability and diversify our product mix,” Anurag Choudhary, CEO of Himadri said.

He also mentioned that exports, at 25% of the turnover, is expected to increase to 35% in the next three years.

Upon completion, the expansion will make it the world’s largest speciality carbon black capacity at a single site, claimed the company.

Himadri currently operates seven manufacturing facilities in India located in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh.

With a capacity utilisation rate of 92% in FY23-24, the company says it has witnessed substantial demand for its products.

The company is focusing on speciality carbon black, including in energy storage, due to its exceptional electrical conductivity, making it an ideal conductive additive in lithium-ion batteries. Himadri has introduced and promoted its range of high-performance speciality carbon blacks tailored for niche applications in plastics, fibres, coatings, inks, and more.

Additionally, Himadri is setting up India’s first commercial lithium-ion phosphate (LFP) cathode active material facility and has partially acquired a stake in Invati Creations and Australian start-up Sicona Battery Technologies to produce high-quality lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery materials.