Evonik to build new precipitated silica plant near major US tyre factories

An “upper double-digit” euro investment will help Evonik Industries supply growing demand within the North American tyre industry for precipitated silica. The company has announced plans to set up a precipitated silica production plant in the USA. The facility, which will be built in the southeast of the country, in “close proximity to major American tyre production sites,” is scheduled to be completed in late 2017. The overall project now awaits approval from relevant bodies.

“Evonik is on a growth path. In planning this new silica plant, we are preparing our largest North American investment of the past five years,” commented Klaus Engel, chairman of Evonik Industries’ Executive Board. “By doing so, we will continue to strengthen our leading market position as a silica supplier.”

Johannes Ohmer, management member of Evonik’s Resource Efficiency Segment, added: “We are going to continue expanding our precipitated silica capacities – a global programme that we started five years ago. The resource efficiency megatrend fuels the demand for our products. Interest in energy-saving tyres is continuously growing in North America. That’s why we are planning to build the plant close to our customers – the large tyre manufacturers.”

Evonik’s global capacity for precipitated silica increased by around 30 per cent between 2010 and 2014. A plant expansion at the company’s facility in Chester, Pennsylvania entered operation last September and gave the site an additional 20,000 tonnes per annum production capacity. In addition to precipitated silica, Evonik also produces fumed silica (Aerosil) and silica-based matting agents, which it markets under the Acematt brand name. The company’s overall global annual capacity for precipitated and fumed silica, and for matting agents, is around 550,000 tonnes.

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