Evonik has started basic engineering for a production plant for precipitated silica in Brazil. The company aims to complete the plant in the 2015 to market precipitated silica in the South America region from local production.
The silica marketed under the ULTRASIL® brand name is particularly used in energy-saving tires with low rolling resistance while the silica sold as SIPERNAT® is applied in the feed and food industry as well as the paints and coatings industry. The use of silicas in combination with silanes allows for the production of tires with a significantly reduced rolling resistance that save up to 8 % of fuel compared to conventional passenger car tires.
According to expert estimates, the market for tires with low rolling resistance will grow globally by a good 18 % annually in the next five years. By 2014, Evonik planns to increase capacities by around 30 % compared to 2010. In line with this, at the end of 2012, Evonik announced plans to expand its annual capacity for precipitated silica at the US-American Chester site by around 20,000 metric tons. This plant, with an investment in the lower double-digit million-euro range, is planned to come on stream in 2014.
- Evonik Industries AG, Essen, Germany