Evonik Industries has announced an expansion of its specialty silica capacities in Ako, Japan, through a holding in DSL Japan Co. Evonik holds 51 percent of shares in DSL, a joint venture with the Japanese Shionogi & Co. The expansion, with an investment volume in the single-digit million euro range, is scheduled to become operational in 2015.
Essen, Ako/Japan – “This capacity expansion in Japan will continue to strengthen the specialty character of our silica business“, says Patrik Wohlhauser, Member of the Evonik Industries Executive Board and Chief Operating Officer. The specialty silicas of the Evonik Sipernat brand improve the properties of products such as batteries, silicones, engineered rubber items, or coatings.
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 annual production capacity of Evonik for precipitated and fumed silicas as well as matting agents reaches 550,000 metric tons.
Silicas of particularly high quality are used in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, for example in toothpastes or in beer filtration. “We want to specifically supply this market segment and project higher than average market growth“, commented Dr. Johannes Ohmer, Head of the Inorganic Materials Business Unit.
Global Expansion is Making Good Progress
Evonik is expanding its silica capacities all over the world – in 2014 alone they are projected to have grown by approximately 30 percent compared to 2010. A plant expansion for precipitated silicas is to become operational in Chester, USA, 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.