Chester, PA, Plant Expansion Evonik Brings Expanded Precipitated Silica Production On–Stream
Evonik has completed the expansion of its precipitated silica plant in Chester, Pennsylvania: The speciality chemicals company has just brought additional 20,000 tons production capacity on–stream.
Chester, Pennsylvania/USA – “This is a very exciting day,” said Andreas Fischer, Head of Evonik’s Silica Business Line. “Chester is an integral part of Evonik’s global silica business. We have expanded our plants and constructed new facilities in Asia and Europe, and now we’ve built up our capacities for precipitated silicas in North America as well.” Fischer explained the capacity addition in Chester was part of Evonik’s initiative to increase world-wide capacities for precipitated silica by 30 percent since 2010.
“Demand for precipitated silica is increasing,” said Fischer. “Our expansion in Chester will enable us to keep pace with the growth of our customers and to meet the requirements of the tire, food and other industries. Our dedicated employees in Chester and at our other sites throughout the world have enabled Evonik to remain a market leader in silica.” Evonik is one of the leading producers of silica with a worldwide capacity of about 550,000 metric tons of precipitated and fumed silica and matting agents per year.
Demand For Fuel-Efficient Tires Driving Capacity Increase
One of the major uses of precipitated silica is the automotive sector, said David Elliott, site manager at Evonik’s Chester facility. “These products are used to manufacture fuel-efficient tires which significantly reduce the rolling-resistance of tires and achieve considerable fuel savings compared with conventional car tires. Fuel efficient tires help to cut fuel consumption by upwards of 8 percent,” said Elliott. Precipitated silica is also used as an ingredient in the food and animal feed industries, as well as in paints and coatings.
In July, Evonik announced plans to build a plant to produce precipitated silica outside São Paulo, Brazil. The facility is scheduled to go on stream in 2016. The increased development in North and South America follows expansions that have already been completed in Europe and Asia. A production plant extension was completed in Thailand in March 2014.