Doubts have surrounded the future of Balkrishna Industries (BKT)’s plans to establish a factory in the USA for the past two and a half years, and now the company has officially ended the project. This decision was agreed upon during a board meeting on Monday.
Following a corona-related delay, off-highway tyre specialist BKT is gearing up to introduce a new, supersized OTR tyre. It has now produced a prototype of its BKT Earthmax SR 468, a size 40.00 R57 tyre developed for use on rigid dump trucks. Over the coming months, the tyre maker’s engineers will test the prototype ahead of the line’s market debut.
The likelihood of seeing BKT tyres ‘Made in the USA’ appears even more uncertain following an earnings call held by Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT) on 13 August. Although the tyre maker reported three days earlier that the 20,000 tonne per annum factory project was just “in abeyance”, comments made during the call suggest the pause on work is more than temporary.
The Board of Directors at off-highway tyre specialist Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT) have temporarily suspended their plans to invest in setting up a factory in the USA. According to the Board, the capex project has been placed in abeyance due to “difficult macroeconomics” and “volatile climate conditions.”
Balkrishna Industries (BKT) has provided further details regarding its plans to build a factory in the USA. With a capital outlay of up to US$100 million, funded by investments and local debt, the tyre maker intends to establish a greenfield facility with an annual capacity of 20,000 tonnes.
John Evankovich has been inducted as president of the Tire Industry Association’s (TIA) Board of Directors. He took office at the TIA annual membership meeting on 29 October and will serve a one-year term. In addition, the US-based industry association also introduced Brian Rigney (president, Dill Air Controls) as its vice-president and Dan Nothdurft (president, Tires, Tires, Tires) as secretary. Mike Wolfe (owner, Southeastern Wholesale Tire) will remain treasurer.
Instead of just finding dandelions growing in fields, we may soon also find them in the tyres of tractors and other agricultural vehicles that traverse these fields. Balkrishna Industries Limited (BKT) sees a future for these plants as a material within the tyres it makes; it recently entered into a joint research agreement with US biotechnology company Kultevat, Inc. to develop new compounding methods based on TKS/Russian dandelion rubber, with the aim of integrating these into its tyre manufacturing process.
Eight hectares have been set aside at the Balkrishna Industries Limited (BKT) production site in Bhuj, India for the construction of a new carbon black plant. Last month the tyre maker’s Board of Directors approved an initial investment of Rs 1.5 billion (£18.1 million) for this project to add backward integration to BKT’s supply chain, and the company says the plant will not only provide a constant supply of raw materials for its tyre production, the carbon black produced in Bhuj will enable it to “better ensure raw material qualities thanks to the now even more accurate controls at the beginning of the entire manufacturing process.”
Balkrishna Industries, the firm behind BKT brand tyres, recently announced plans to build a 60,000 ton/year carbon black plant at its facility in Bhuj, Gujarat, India. No completion date was announced for the project that is estimated to cost roughly $23 million.