Chemicals firm Orion upgrades Energy Efficiency, CHP at Texas Manufacturing plant

Jan. 27, 2023
The $60 million project also included upgrading the site’s cogeneration system, which converts heat generated by the carbon black production process to electricity that can be used by the plant and sold back to the power grid

Global specialty chemicals company Orion Engineered Carbons has deployed a new control technology at its Borger, Texas plant to “sharply” reduce air emissions.

According to the company, the $60 million project also included upgrading the site’s cogeneration system, which converts heat generated by the carbon black production process to electricity that can be used by the plant and sold back to the power grid. Orion says this type of energy conservation equipment is used by many of its plants globally.

The new technology is expected to eliminate 23 tons of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions per day at Orion’s Borger plant, which produces carbon black for rubber and specialty clients. The figure represents an emission reduction of 90%, the company says.

Carbon black is used to tint, colorize, provide reinforcement, conduct electricity, increase durability, and add UV protection.

“Investing in emissions control technology and generating more clean energy are key to our commitment to sustainability,” Orion CEO Corning Painter said. “I want to commend our engineers, the Borger team and our contractors for the timely completion of this complex project despite the Covid-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions.”

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The firm has also upgraded its emissions control technology at facilities in Orange, Texas and Ivanhoe, Louisiana, and plans to finish its final U.S. emissions project at its site in Belpre, Ohio later this year.

“We are proud that we’ve upgraded these plants, but it was an extremely demanding undertaking,” Painter said. “As we complete the Belpre project, Orion will have significantly more free cash flow to invest in growth projects. 2023 marks a new era for the company.”

The upgrade supports Orion’s efforts to achieve the targets in its sustainability-linked term loan.