BKT’s new carbon black plant within the company’s Bhuj production site will be able to run at 100% of its capacity by 2021, according to the tire maker.
At the end of the first quarter of financial year 2019, the plant had a carbon black production output of 60,000 tons, which increased to 80,000 tons in the second quarter, and will reach its full production capacity of 130,000 tons by 2021.
Around 50% of the carbon black produced at the new plant is being used in BKT’s tire manufacturing process, while the other remaining 50% is sold commercially. Some 80,000MT of the present production are in hard grade, while a further capacity for 50,000MT of soft grade material is under commissioning.
BKT is the only company in the Indian tire industry with its own carbon black production plant.
“This plant will reward us and this US$75m investment [initially US$23m]provides vital raw material within the tire manufacturing supply chain,” explained Rajiv Poddar, joint managing director of BKT.
“The decision to produce this component in-house is part of our strategy. Not only does the new plant provide us with manufacturing independence, but it also ensures a better quality of raw materials, since we now have precise upstream control over the entire process.”
Vertical integration of carbon black in the tire production process is hence another step forward in the development of BKT’s Bhuj production site, which was inaugurated back in 2015, and will undergo expansion in order to respond to the ever-growing demand for tires.
With its state-of-the-art machinery, an enlarged footprint of over 160ha, and its proximity to the vital logistics hub of the Mundra commercial port, the Bhuj production site has proven to be a great strategic advantage for BKT.