10 May 2013 11:43 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Evonik Industries has started the basic engineering for a new precipitated silica production plant in Americana, Brazil, in anticipation of strong demand from the South America region, the Germany-based specialty chemical producer said on Friday.
Completion of the plant is scheduled for the end of 2015. Financial details were not disclosed, although Evonik said the plant will have an investment level in the middle double-digit million-euro range.
It is the group’s first silica production in South America.
Evonik said in South America, particularly in Brazil, demand for precipitated silica, used in energy-saving tyres with low rolling resistance and in the feed and food industry as well as the paints and coatings industry, is rising strongly.
The company also expects additional demand on the back of a planned labelling obligation for fuel-saving tyres in Brazil.
“According to expert estimates, the market for tyres with low rolling resistance will grow globally by a good 18% annually in the next five years. Evonik therefore wants to significantly expand its global silica capacities: By 2014 alone, capacities are planned to increase by around 30% compared to 2010,” Evonik said
On 20 December, Evonik announced it was planning a 20,000 tonne/year expansion to its precipitated silica production capacity in Chester, Pennsylvania, in the US. According to the company, the level of investment in the US stands in the low double-digit million euros. The plant is planned to come on stream in 2014.
The expansion planned in North and South America follows expansion projects in Asia and Europe, Evonik said. In November last year, the company announced it was in the process of ramping up its production capacity for precipitated silica.
Evonik currently has a global capacity of around 500,000 tonnes/year of precipitated and fumed silica as well as matting agents, it said.
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