Columbian Tiszai Carbon Kft, the Hungarian unit of US-based Columbian Chemicals Company, plans to spend tens of millions of dollars to boost annual output of carbon black, an element added to rubber tires, by 30,000-35,000 tons from the current level of 60,000-70,000 tons, CEO László Dobos announced on Tuesday.
Construction for the expansion could start as soon as next year and would be completed a year later, Dobos said. The expansion comes as Bridgestone and Hankook, two of the world's biggest tire makers, are building tire plants in Hungary.
Columbian Tiszai Carbon has annual sales of about $60 million. Exports to tire companies such as Continental, Michelin and Bridgestone, account for 90% of sales. Because of the expansion, the company will boost its staff numbers from the current 88. Columbian Tiszai Carbon was set up in 1993 by Columbian Chemicals Company (60%) and Hungarian chemicals company TVK Nyrt (40%). Columbian Chemicals Company bought out TVK for $19 million in 2000.