Tokyo – Tosoh Silica Corp., part of Japan’s Tosoh Group, has set up a joint venture with Namhae Chemical Corp. of South Korea to produce silica for use in fuel-efficient tires.
Based in Yeosu City, in South Korean, Tosoh Namhae Silica Corp. was established in March and is 67% owned by Tosoh Silica, the Tokyo-based company announced 10 June. Namhae Chemical owns the remaining 33% of the shares.
The plant will be Tosoh’s second silica production base overseas and is scheduled to start commercial production by October 2021.
The company statement did not give further details on the size of the investment or the plant's production capacity.
According to Tosoh, demand for silica for fuel-efficient tires is expected to increase in line with a continued reduction in automotive fuel consumption as well as a shift towards vehicle electrification.
Silica, it said, exhibits “superior effectiveness” in improving tire performance by reducing rolling resistance, which leads to enhanced automotive fuel economy.