Oslo – Elkem SA is investing NOK3.8 billion (€380 million) in its Xinghuo Silicones plant in China in a bid to strengthen its position in “the fastest growing silicones market” and support its “specialisation” strategy.
The project will increase the site’s silicones production capacity by 50% and improve its overall cost position and environmental profile “significantly”, announced the Norwegian silicones and chemicals supplier 26 April.
The “state-of-the-art” technology will manufacture silicones for “high quality upstream products” and enable Elkem to raise speciality volumes by increasing access to "high purity products and critical by-products", said the company which is 80% owned by state-owned company ChemChina.
On the environmental front, Elkem said new technologies employed at the site will reduce energy consumption by 57%, use of raw materials by 11% and solid waste by 30%.
“Improved environmental performance was one of the key decision parameters for Elkem, in line with the company’s high ambition level on environment, social and governance (ESG) factors,” it added.
The investment, Elkem said, is a “step-change” for its position as a leading supplier in China.
According to Elkem, the Xinghuo facility employs 1648 people and manufactures more than than 600 products from 80 product series.
The site is a "leading integrated silicones provider in China," with a capacity to manufacture 500 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of silicone monomer, and 120ktpa of downstream products.