Orion opens second carbon black plant in China

Orion opens second carbon black plant in ChinaSpeciality chemicals firm Orion has celebrated the completion of its first greenfield project – a carbon black plant in eastern China that will supply fast-growing demand in Asia.

The facility in the city of Huaibei in Anhui province will produce carbon black for a variety of applications, including coatings, printing inks, rubber, polymers, fibre and rubber. The site’s two production lines have a total capacity of 70 kilotonnes/year.

“The Huaibei facility is a huge milestone for Orion. The state-of-the-art plant enables us to better support our Chinese customers with products that are made in China,” Orion CEO Corning Painter said at the recent opening ceremony. “Now we can reallocate production lines in the US and Europe so that we can increase supply to customers in those markets.”

Orion’s other plant in China is in Qingdao in the eastern province of Shandong. The facility, built in 1994, produces carbon black grades for tyres, mechanical rubber goods and specialty applications.

Painter commended everyone on the Huaibei project team for overcoming the extreme challenges posed by the Covid-19 virus.

“Despite the constant disruption during the worst periods of the pandemic, our employees, contractors and leadership team kept the project on track,” the CEO said. “As always, we put the safety, health and the welfare of our people first, providing nutritious meals, warm beds, testing and medical care. But still, it was the heroic dedication of our team that delivered this project under extremely trying circumstances.”

Orion has four innovation centres and produces carbon black at 15 plants worldwide. The company’s corporate lineage goes back more than 160 years to Germany, where it operates the world’s longest-running carbon black plant.