Tokyo-Tokuyama Corp. and Oriental Silicas Corp. (OSC) of Taiwan are to merge their Thailand-based precipitated silica manufacturing operations. The deal, to take effect on 31 May, will see Tokuyama acquire a 20-percent stake in OSC, the Japanese firm announced 21 April.
Both companies are trying to increase their presence in the 350-kilotonnes-per-annum Asian market for precipitated silicas, according to a Tokuyama statement.
The Asian market for precipitated silica is growing 5-10 percent a year driven by increasing demand for tyres and other rubber products, said Tokuyama.
Tokuyama produces silica via its Pornpat Chemicals Co. subsidiary, which has a total capacity of 32 ktpa from sites in Japan and Thailand. Oriental Silicas has a silicas capacity of 73 ktpa from plants in Taiwan, Thailand and China.
Tokuyama supplies precipitated silicas under the Tokusil brand, which are used in industrial rubber, shoe rubber, and tyres, for example. The firm also supplies fumed or fused silica for use in
silicone rubber compounds among other applications.