Engineering News

Koppers To Expand Petroleum Pitch Business In North America
July 29, 2009

Koppers Holdings Inc. announced Tuesday that it is planning to expand its petroleum pitch business to include the North American carbon electrode and "clay pigeon" shooting target markets. This expansion is in response to the recently announced exit from the petroleum pitch business of the leading supplier of these products.

Over the past several years, Koppers has researched and developed technology allowing for the effective distillation of certain petroleum feedstocks utilizing the vacuum distillation units that were designed for coal tar. As a result of this extensive work, Koppers has been able to develop new products that should allow for expansion into these new markets, adding incremental growth to its North American Carbon Materials and Chemicals business. Based on current economic conditions, management estimates that the current size of this market is approximately $20 million. As the North American electric arc steel and shooting target industries increase production from currently depressed levels we would expect to see increasing demand levels for petroleum pitch products.

"The petroleum pitch business gives us an opportunity to expand our market position in North America utilizing our existing distillation capacity," said Walt Turner, President and CEO of Koppers.

Turner continued, "We believe that we have an excellent opportunity to supply a new product to our existing electrode customer base as well as to add a new customer base in the shooting target markets. Given that we have the ability to produce these products at our existing distillation facilities and utilize our existing logistics network for distribution, we are uniquely positioned to capitalize on this exciting opportunity for Koppers by offering our customers security of supply and cost-effective transportation of these high-quality products."

Koppers, with corporate headquarters and a research center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a global integrated producer of carbon compounds and treated wood products. Including its joint ventures, Koppers operates facilities in the United States, United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia, and China.

Source: Koppers Holdings Inc.

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