Shanghai, China – Elkem has opened a new production facility in Shanghai, dedicated to the development and manufacturing of specialised silicones for hybrid and electric vehicles.
The move is aimed at strengthening Elkem’s position “as the largest silicones producer in China” and to prepare the company for the electric vehicle boom in the region, the Norwegian supplier said 2 Dec.
A first production batch has been completed at the facility, dubbed Delta 2, and the materials have met quality specifications, Elkem said.
According to Elkem, China is the largest single market for the production and sales of EVs and this positions the facility to have "a significant impact" on the country's growing EV market.
In addition, the company expects further growth in the sales and production of EVs globally, which will increase demand for silicones.
"An EV contains on average four times more silicones than a traditional car," Elkem said in a news release.
"Silicones contribute to safer, more reliable and more comfortable cars, as a key component in airbags, cables, hoses and tires, and Elkem is already a supplier to several of the world's top EV producers."
The Norwegian supplier expects two of its key products, Bluesil and CAF, to be particularly of demand in the automotive market, providing durability and protection for electrical parts.
"The cars of the future will be powered by electricity and built and protected with silicones," Frederic Jacquin, Elkem's SVP for Silicones.
Shanghai, he said, is “the best place to ride the wave of transports electrification and renewable energy developments."