Cabot Corp. and joint venture partner Risun Chemicals Co. broke ground Tuesday on a new carbon black manufacturing facility in Xingtai, China.
The project, announced in March 2011, is scheduled to be completed in mid-2013.
Cabot and Risun are investing approximately $140 million in the new facility, they said, with Cabot owning a 60% equity interest.
In the partnership, Cabot says it brings technology advancements and a leadership position in China while Risun provides the feedstock and energy integration capabilities with its current operations.
The new facility, located about 250 miles (400 kilometers) south of Beijing in Heibei Province, will help support tire and automotive growth in China, officials said.
Carbon black is a reinforcing agent essential in the manufacturing of tires. The material is also used in many automotive parts, including adhesives and sealants, battery materials, coatings, and more.
According to IHS Automotive, Chinas motor vehicle fleet is expected to grow to approximately 315 million vehicles over the next 10 years, up from 102 million vehicles today.
The new Xingtai facility will have a Phase I manufacturing capacity of 130,000 tpy of carbon black, and will enable Cabot to increase its carbon black manufacturing capacity in China by 25%, the company said.
The new site will employ technologies for production of high-performance carbon black materials, environmental protection and comprehensive utilization of energy recovery, officials said.
Were committed to supporting China in achieving its goal of increased mobility, and were going to do it in a highly sustainable way, said Patrick Prevost, Cabot CEO.
Our customers in China value us because weve established our technology leadership position in this industry over the past 20 years, he continued.
Were also investing significantly in process equipment and infrastructure to increase our energy efficiency and minimize our impact to the environment. Our new facility in Xingtai demonstrates this commitment.