Oil and gas
There is an expectation of increased oil price volatility in the next decade as conventional oil fields decline and supply is squeezed. While there is certainly strong growth potential in USA shale oil, it currently represents less than 5% of global supply and is not thought to be able to scale up to match the projected decline in conventional oil over the period.
Oil availability and supply will inevitably have an impact on our business, as carbon black production requires feedstock that is a by-product from oil. There is a need for Birla Carbon and other members of our industry to consider alternative sources over the next decade, particularly in the face of other attractive materials, such as silica.
A huge shift is underway from fossil fuels to renewables in both rich and developing nations. This change is partially policy-driven, but increasingly now due to the economics of solar power which is undergoing exponential growth. This transition may impact oil demand, supply and pricing, and affect electricity generation or transport. The rate of the transition is uncertain.
Any change from traditional energy and transport systems represents both challenges and opportunities for Birla Carbon, in terms of resilience and adaptation.
The circular economy is still nascent, but with increasing investment it is expected to be much more mainstream by 2030, with tracking methods such as materials passports to enable proper reuse and recycling. Waste legislation is expected to tighten over this same period across the world.
This represents a future challenge for Birla Carbon if used tires cannot be landfilled or combusted. There is an increased preference for renewable, recyclable and ‘closed loop’ materials. Companies are already applying various technologies to recover low grade carbon black from old tires for use in low-end applications.
This is a key area for all industry – nearly half the global population is expected to face shortages by 2030. Water requirements are a pressing concern. Use reduction and recapture will become increasingly important for Birla Carbon in the years to 2030.