"Closer to the customer" is the guiding principle behind the realignment of Evonik's European carbon black production capacities. The carbon black market in Western Europe is increasingly shifting towards Central Europe. The main drivers of this change are the major tire manufacturers and producers of mechanical rubber goods.
Over the coming months, Evonik will address this trend with targeted measures to realign its production capacity. This effort involves planned capacity expansion and production optimization measures at individual sites, but it will also lead to the closing of the plant in Botlek, Netherlands, on July 31st, 2010. Plans are in place to continue for the next few years as a supplier of energy to businesses located in the vicinity. "While the Botlek facility has always excelled in quality and efficiency, the market has moved away from Northwest Europe. Botlek’s great performance is, unfortunately, not enough to overcome the logistical disadvantage", says Jack Clem, Head of the Business Line Carbon Black.
Evonik's remaining seven European carbon black plants will continue to ensure product availability for our customers.
Evonik is keeping pace with growth in markets outside Europe as well: just under two years ago, Evonik brought a new large-scale production plant on-stream in Brazil; throughout 2009 we conducted an extensive optimization effort at our Chinese operations; and we recently completed a comprehensive plant overhaul in South Africa. A review is currently underway regarding expansion and product mix optimization plans for plants in Korea and again in China.
By the end of 2010, Evonik's worldwide production capacity will reach over 1.4 million metric tons per annum. "Our global optimization program sees us emerging from the global crisis stronger than before and reinforces our position as a reliable partner to our carbon black customers," says Thomas Hermann, head of Evonik's Inorganic Materials Business Unit.
Evonik Industries is the creative industrial group from Germany. In our core business of specialty chemicals, we are a global leader. In addition, Evonik is an expert in power generation from hard coal and renewable energies, and one of the largest private residential real estate companies in Germany. Our company’s performance is shaped by creativity, specialization, continuous self-renewal, and reliability.
Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In its fiscal year 2009 about 39,000 employees generated sales of about €13.1 billion and an operating profit (EBITDA) of about €2.0 billion.
In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.