ERJ staff report (TP)
Chester, Pennsylvania – Evonik Corporation opened a new 20,000-tonne expansion at its precipitated silica site in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Andreas Fischer, head of Evonik’s Silica Business Line, said the capacity addition in Chester was part of Evonik’s initiative to increase world-wide capacities for precipitated silica by 30 percent since 2010.
"Demand for precipitated silica is increasing," said Fischer. "Our expansion in Chester will enable us to keep pace with the growth of our customers and to meet the requirements of the tire, food and other industries.”
One of the major uses of precipitated silica is the automotive sector, said David Elliott, site manager at Evonik’s Chester facility.
"Our products are used to manufacture fuel-efficient tires which significantly reduce the rolling-resistance of tires and achieve considerable fuel savings compared with conventional car tires. Fuel efficient tires help to cut fuel consumption by upwards of 8 percent," said Elliott.
As ERJ reported in July, Evonik announced plans to build a plant to produce precipitated silica outside São Paulo, Brazil. The facility is scheduled to go on stream in 2016. The increased development in North and South America follows expansions that have already been completed in Europe and Asia.
ERJ also revealed on 5 September that the company will expand speciality silica capacities in Japan.
A production plant extension was completed in Thailand in March 2014.
Evonik has a worldwide capacity of about 550,000 tonnes of precipitated and fumed silica and matting agents per year.
The company is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2013 more than 33,500 employees generated sales of around €12.7 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €2 billion.