Love thy neighbour: Proximity to US tyre makers decisive in Evonik’s choice of plant site

Plans to build a precipitated silica production facility in the US state of South Carolina have been officially confirmed by Evonik Industries. The new plant will be located in the Bushy Park industrial area near Charleston, close to the factories of a number of tyre makers, including Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental, Trelleborg and (as of 2017) Giti Tire. Evonik Industries will invest approximately US$120 million in the plant, which will be completed in 2018.

“The investment is an important part of our strategy to expand our position as a global partner for the automotive supplier industry,” comments Klaus Engel, chairman of Evonik Industries AG’s Executive Board. “With the construction of the plant in the Southeastern United States and the planned acquisition of the silica business of Huber, we are strengthening our ‘Resource Efficiency’ growth segment and are extending our leading market positon as a silica provider.” With Huber Silica – a $630 million acquisition announced several days ago – Evonik intends to acquire a business that is specialised in applications in the consumer industry, such as in the dental area.

“The proximity to the key customers in the tyre industry was decisive in choosing South Carolina. We want to provide global tyre manufacturers with the supply security and flexibility they expect from us in local production. That’s why we invest in sites that are close to our customers,” adds Johannes Ohmer, member of the Board of Management of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH.

The use of silica in combination with silanes allows for the manufacture of tyres with significantly lower rolling resistance than conventional tyres. Evonik is the only manufacturer that offers both components.

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