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About us

160 years supplying the industry

The James Durrans Ltd. & Sons was founded in the British town of Penistone in South Yorkshire over 160 years ago (1863–2023) and since its foundation, the company has never strayed from its manufacture of carbon-related products. The materials contribute towards or form part of many things we take for granted in our daily lives. Durrans products play a part in producing everything from basic iron and steel castings to the brake linings and brake pads used in millions of cars and trucks to filters for cooker hoods, white paint pigments and even jet engines.

Today the group has annual sales of nearly £ 73 million, employs some 220 people and has nine manufacturing sites worldwide. Four of the latter can be found in the UK, at Thurlstone in South Yorkshire, Bilston in West Midlands, Brancepeth in County Durham and Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire. Each site has a particular specialisation and together they make a range of products, including recarburisers and refractory coatings, metallurgical and petroleum cokes, coal and anthracite blends, synthetic and natural graphites, forging lubricants and machined graphite components.

A global network of agents and distributors is backed up by the support of experienced manufacturing and technical staff. Today the Durrans Group is one of the world‘s leading producers of carbonaceous materials.


19th century

1847James Durrans I, Huddersfield, England began trading and registered as a currier
1863James Durrans Ltd. as a company was founded by James Durrans I in Thurlstone near Penistone for the production of blackings
18676th December - a Patent was taken out; 18th December James Durrans I died
1890James Durrans II took over the running of the business
1897James Durrans III joined the business and sales grew extensively; however he died young in 1908 at the age of only 33

20th century

1922James Durrans IV took over the business of the company from his father
1923Phoenix Works badly destroyed by a fire but could be rebuilt in a short space of time
1928The first sales representative was employed
1934“No. 10 Blacking”, a technical ready mixed product was developed and seen as a major breakthrough in the foundry industry and indeed for the company; accordingly the business grew rapidly
1937Plumpton Mills purchased from Z. Hinchcliffe & Sons Ltd.
1939 – 1945By the end of the 2nd World War, production had doubled, supported by the fact that German competitors were unable to supply the market. New export markets in Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway were established. As a result a 2nd grinding plant was installed
1958James Durrans entered the recarburisers market, which included a new graphite crushing plant built at Plumpton Mills
1960Following the death of James Durrans IV, his sons Geoffrey and Richard took control of the company
1964Standard Pulverised Fuels taken over
1966William Cumming & Co taken over
1974James Durrans GmbH established in Willich, near Düsseldorf, Germany
1991Carl Dellmann acquired in Germany, renamed to James Durrans GmbH, achieved ISO 9001 accreditation
1999Durrans RMS formed in South Africa

21st century

2002Acquisition of PMC Carbon and formation of Carbon International Ltd. in Scunthorpe
2003James Durrans (Tianjin) Coatings Ltd. formed in China

Rebuildung of the present production site at James Durrans GmbH; specialisation in the manufacturing of coatings

2007Property expansion at the Willich location; increase of the storage capacity
2011Acquisition of Karlsruhe factory in Germany; new Chinese factory completed
Extension to the Willich site with the acquisition of an extra storage facility
2013Opening a new head office in Penistone to coincide with 150 anniversary of the company
Regional sales and technical support office opens in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2014The GmbH acquires the Environmental certification standard according to ISO 14001:2004
2016Sale of the plant in Karlsruhe
2017Increase in production capacity with the GmbH - second mixer installed

Installation and commissioning of an internal calcination facility in Sasolburg, South Africa
2019Extension of the Penistone site with the installation of two FE-free micronising jet mills

Investment at the Penistone site with the installation of the third FE-free micronising jet mill

Modernisation of the laboratory at Penistone, UK

Property/Land expansion (46,500 m²) at Sasolburg, South Africa + construction of a brand-new laboratory

Installation of roof solar panels at Sasolburg, South Africa


Completion of the production plant for coatings of our partner company Pine Pacific Corporation Ltd. in Bangkok, Thailand

The Ltd and Carbon International obtained ISO 45001 accreditation for occupational health and safety management

Installation of roof solar panels at GmbH in Willich, Germany