Evonik to Build $120M Silica Plant in South Carolina

December 15, 2016

2 Min Read
Evonik to Build $120M Silica Plant in South Carolina
Evonik is building a precipitated silica factory in South Carolina. Image courtesy of Flickr user Colin Zhu

A projected rise in demand for energy-efficient tires is prompting German specialty chemicals company Evonik to build a new, $120 million precipitated silica production plant near Charleston, SC to serve large tire plants nearby, a press release announced Tuesday.

“The industry needs high-quality precipitated silica for producing fuel-efficient tires with good wet grip properties, which can save up to 8% fuel in comparison with conventional car tires,” Evonik’s press release said. “In North America, the demand for tires with reduced rolling resistance and the associated higher fuel efficiency is experiencing above-average growth.”

Slated for completion in 2018, the facility will be located at the Bushy Park Industrial area near Charleston.

“The proximity to the key customers in the tire industry was decisive in choosing South Carolina. We want to provide global tire manufacturers with the supply security and flexibility they expect from us in local production. That’s why we invest in sites that are close to our customers,” a statement by Johannes Ohmer, member of the board of management of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH.

The German company is a major producer of silica, manufacturing about 600,000 mt of precipitated and fumed silica, and matting agents made from silica, per year. To increase its footprint in the market, Evonik said it plans to acquire the silica business of Huber for $630 million.

“The investment is an important part of our strategy to expand our position as a global partner for the automotive supplier industry,” said Klaus Engel, chairman of Evonik Industries AG’s executive board, in the release. “With the construction of the plant in the southeastern United States and the planned acquisition of the silica business of Huber, we are strengthening our resource efficiency growth segment and are extending our leading market position as a silica provider.”

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