Evonik Industries and the Chinese company Wynca have agreed to form a joint venture. The new company, in which Evonik will hold 60 %, will produce fumed silica. The product is used in transparent silicones, coatings and paints, modern adhesives as well as non-combustible high-performance insulation materials.
Essen/Germany — The joint venture, Evonik Wynca (Zhenjiang) Silicon Material, plans to build a fumed silica production facility in the Zhenjiang New Material Industry Park (Jiangsu Province, China), investing an amount in the mid double-digit million Euro range. The facility, with a projected annual output of 8,000 metric tons is scheduled to become operational in 2021. The overall project still requires the approval of the relevant corporate bodies and the competent authorities.
The global market for fumed silica is growing at around 5 %, showing stronger growth than the global economy. Key drivers for the fumed silica market in China include the silicone industry for adhesives and sealants in buildings and cars as well as gel batteries such as those used in electric bikes. The joint venture will supplement the German company's global network of production facilities for fumed silica, while the Cineses partner plans to further expand its business with silicon-based products.
With the joint venture, the company was continuing to strengthen their Resource Efficiency segment, says Harald Schwager, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries. Following the acquisition of the Huber silica business and the associated expansion of their precipitated silica capacities as well as the growth of the fumed silica capacities in Antwerp, the company was now taking the next step with the first fumed silica plant in the attractive Chinese market, he added.
Strong Growth Expected
Precipitated and fumed silica are among the company’s “Smart Materials,” one of four strategic growth engines identified by Evonik for above-average market growth and margin potential.
Based on synthesized organic silicon monomers, Wynca has formed a complete organic silicon industry chain from smelting cores, ganister sand processing, monomer synthesis to the final products, generating the four large product series of silicone rubber, silicone oil, silicone resin and silane coupling agent, and becoming an organic silicon company covering the full industry value chain.
Wynca is expanding its capacity for organochloro-silanes which is a raw material used in the production of Aerosil fumed silica, to 300 kt per annum. A small part of this capacity expansion will supply the joint venture.