MMEC Mannesmann GmbH (MMEC), a global leader in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), and Black Bear, the Dutch tire-to-carbon-black upcycling-company today announced a strategic partnership to accelerate the rollout of Black Bear’s breakthrough technology to produce recovered Carbon Black (rCB) from end-of-life tires.

MMEC Mannesmann is well known for executing complex projects in the oil, gas, refining, chemical and renewables industries. The German General Contractor carries key expertise in executing turnkey projects starting from early project developments, feasibility studies, conceptual, basic and front-end engineering design up to detail design, procurement and construction. Being involved in highly innovative and large-scale engineering projects worldwide MMEC is the ideal strategic partner for Black Bear in the rollout of the technology.


Martijn Lopez Cardozo (left) and Jan Driessen (right) from Black Bear Carbon in Nederweert | Photo: De Limburger, courtesy of John Peters.

Black Bear positions itself as an innovative manufacturer of green, sustainable rCB of highest quality – world’s first Cradle-to-Cradle certified Carbon Black. The Dutch scale-up who attributes itself to one of the most promising cleantech companies worldwide, developed a unique carbonization process to transform used tires into valuable resources. In several industries, rCB is used as additive in rubber, tires, plastics, coatings plastics and inks, bringing black color into products.

While Carbon Black is currently produced by burning oil in a very energy-intensive and CO2-emitting process, manufacturers are looking for sustainable alternatives to reduce their environmental footprint. One of Black Bear’s clients is AkzoNobel, the world leader in paints and coatings. “To meet the growing demand for rCB and receive a substantial impact to meet the waste tire problem we need to rollout our proven technology”, explains Joost Raimond, Construction Director at Black Bear.

“Being in the EPC industry for many years, I know that the partnership with MMEC is a game-changer in our time-to-market as we now can offer real turn-key plant realization to clients who want to use our technology”, he continues.

As part of the strategic partnership MMEC will perform the detailed engineering, procurement and construction of Black Bear’s innovative facilities. Johann-Georg Rathgeb, Head of Technologies of MMEC Mannesmann says: “Black Bear’s proven technology is highly promising. We have been closely monitoring their technology developments for quite some time now. Considering the lessons learned of their first industrial sized pilot-plant and despite the fire that happened in early February, we are convinced that together we can realize state of the art plants across the globe”.

The initial focus will be on already identified sites together with partners inside Europe. Given MMEC’s strong presence in the Middle East, this region is also expected see Black Bear facilities emerging in the future.

Oliver Apelt, CEO of MMEC Mannesmann, adds:

“We are delighted about this partnership with Black Bear. We carry strong belief in their technology and look forward to rolling it out around the world.”

Martijn Lopes Cardozo, CEO of Black Bear, is optimistic about the collaboration, too. “This is a big step forward for Black Bear. Bundling ourselves with MMEC’s expertise and resources will set a high pace in our global rollout and bring the circular economy to tires”, he says.

More about MMEC Mannesmann

MMEC Mannesmann is an independent German EPC contractor offering to its customers the full chain of services starting at conceptual study and feasibility project phases up to the project implementation phases. MMEC Mannesmann is a fully integrated General Contractor for clients in diverse industries in Germany and around the world. On a collaborative basis with customers, partners and suppliers, MMEC Mannesmann builds long-term trustful relationships and implement projects in a broad portfolio. The field of activities ranges from oil & gas, chemicals, metals & minerals to renewables. MMEC Mannesmann’s experts constantly offer the most innovative technologies and best solutions to the clients to optimize their investments and meet the world’s energy challenges. MMEC Mannesmann’s mission is to deliver safe, sustainable and quality projects across the world.

More about Black Bear Carbon

Black Bear is a green, recovered carbon black (rCB) manufacturer that produces carbon black using end-of-life tires instead of fossil oil as a resource material. Black Bear reports that it chooses to change the industry with breakthrough technology and with passionate people; because they believe they can save considerable amounts of CO2 in the carbon black market, solve the waste-tire problem and operate a profitable business at the same time.

Carbon black is a crucial component in rubber, plastics, inks and paints and is used to modify their properties into usable products. Almost everything that we see around us that is black in color has carbon black in it. Current manufacturers produce carbon black by combusting oil (the “furnace process”), emitting CO2 and thereby polluting the environment. Black Bear recovers carbon black from used tires in a clean and sustainable way.

Black Bear plans to lead the transition towards a circular economy for tires by rolling out hundreds of tire upcycling plants with local partners around the world, focusing on Europe for its next plants. When it reaches its full potential of repurposing every end-of-life tire with its circular solution, Black Bear will reduce global annual oil consumption by more than 215 million barrels. After 6 years of testing and 2 years production experience, Black Bear says it is now ready to roll-out its concept worldwide and start producing on large commercial scale.

Press release by Black Bear Carbon.