Evonik opens silica plant expansion in Thailand

With growth driven by the demand for fuel saving tyres and life science applications in Southeast Asia, German chemicals firm Evonik has expanded production for precipitated silica in Rayong, Thailand. With this investment, Evonik has increased its capacity for precipitated silica for the automotive industry, food and animal feed industry as well as the paints and coatings industry. It says the investment volume is in the lower double-digit million range.

"Expanding our manufacturing footprint in Southeast Asia, Australia & New Zealand highlights our commitment to this region and allows us to better serve regional markets with state-of-the-art products and optimum solutions," described Peter Meinshausen, Regional President South East Asia, Australia & New Zealand.

Used in the tyre and rubber industry, the combination of silica with silanes enables tyre manufacturers to produce tyres of much lower rolling resistance, thus reducing the overall fuel consumption by up to 8% compared to traditional tyres.

"With this expansion, we are strengthening our operations in Thailand," explained Dr Florian Kirschner, Managing Director and Country Head Thailand. "This allows us to respond more quickly to changes in market demand and supply high quality products to our customers."

The silica production, now a joint venture between Evonik Industries and Oriental Siam Company, was founded in 1990. Evonik came on board as majority shareholder taking charge of operating this Map Ta Phut site in 1999. This expansion, using Evonik’s latest technology, comprised enhancements of the production process to ensure highest levels of safety, productivity, and quality of the overall production.

Evonik is one of the leading manufacturers of silica. In addition to precipitated silica, Evonik also produces AEROSIL fumed silica and silica-based matting agents under the ACEMATT brand. These are used in tyres with low rolling resistance as well as in the paints and coatings industry, as flow additives and carriers in food, cosmetics and drug production, or in manufacturing silicone applications, among others. Overall, Evonik has a global capacity of around 500,000 tonnes/year for precipitated, fumed silica, and matting agents.


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