Essen, Germany – Evonik Industries AG is expanding its production capacity for fumed silica at its Antwerp, Belgium plant “significantly”, the company announced 27 July.
The Essen, Germany-based speciality chemicals company said it was investing “an amount in the upper double-digit million-euro range” in the expansion, which is scheduled to become operational in the summer of 2019.
Evonik declined to comment on the size of capacity increase.
The company markets the product under the brand name Aerosil, which is typically used in in coatings and paints, modern adhesive systems, transparent silicones as well as non-flammable high-performance insulation materials.
This investment is part of Evonik’s strategy to concentrate more on distinct specialty chemicals businesses. Silica are part of “smart materials”, one of Evonik’s four strategic growth engines with above-average market growth and margin potential.
"Following the planned takeover of the Huber silica business and the continuous expansion of precipitated silica capacity, the Aerosil® expansion in Antwerp is the next logical step," said Christian Kullmann, chairman of the Evonik executive board.
According to Evonik, global market for fumed silica shows growth rates exceeding 4%.
"By expanding our capacities in Antwerp, we want to support the market growth for fumed silica in Europe and other important export markets, while at the same time boosting our integrated European silica-silane production," explained Johannes Ohmer, member of the board of management of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH.
The company also said that its silane capacity is being modernised at the Antwerp site to secure the raw material supply for the Aerosil production as well as for silanes used in tire production.
The company declined to give further information on the modernisation process to ERJ.
Evonik’s global annual production capacity for precipitated and fumed silica as well as matting agents is 600,000 tonnes.