Evonik expanding speciality silica capacity in Japan; global capacity up by 30%

German chemicals firm Evonik Industries is expanding its speciality silica capacity in Ako, Japan, through a holding in DSL Japan. Evonik holds 51% shareholding in DSL, a joint venture with the Japanese Shionogi & Co. Ltd. The expansion, with an investment volume in the single-digit million euro range, is scheduled to become operational in 2015. The speciality silicas of the Evonik SIPERNAT brand are said to improve the properties of products such as batteries, silicones, engineered rubber items, or coatings. Silicas of particularly high quality are used in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, for example in toothpastes or in beer filtration.

"This capacity expansion in Japan will continue to strengthen the speciality character of our silica business. We are a leading global provider of highly developed inorganic materials for resource-efficient applications, and we accompany this attractive growth market with targeted investments," says Patrik Wohlhauser, Member of the Evonik Executive Board/CEO.

"Our focus is on close customer relationships and intensive technical cooperation. We provide our customers with high-level technological products in outstanding quality," commented Dr. Johannes Ohmer, Head of the Inorganic Materials Business Unit.

Evonik is expanding its silica capacities all over the world. In 2014 alone, it has expanded its capacity by 30% compared to 2010. A plant expansion for precipitated silicas is to become operational in Chester, US, this year. Furthermore, the group just approved the construction of a silica plant in Brazil, which is to start up in 2016. The expansion in North and South America follows the expansions in Europe and Asia, which have already been completed. Thus, a larger production facility became operational in Thailand in March 2014.

In addition to precipitated silica, the group also manufactures the fumed silica AEROSIL and matting agents made from silica under the brand name ACEMATT. Overall, the global production capacity of Evonik for precipitated and fumed silicas as well as matting agents is 550,000 tonnes/year.


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