WLOCLAWEK, Poland (May 29, 2013) — Belgian chemicals producer Solvay S.A. broke ground recently on a $100 million plant near Wloclawek for highly dispersible silica, a material used in compounding rubber for low rolling resistance tires.
The plant will is rated at 85,000 metric tons per year, Solvay said, dedicated to customers in Eastern Europe and Russia, Solvay said. The plant will employ 50.
"Our new Wloclawek facility represents Solvay's focus on the future and underscores our unyielding commitment to accompany our customers' growth — not only in Eastern Europe and Russia, but also around the world," said Tom Benner, president of Solvay Silica.
Among the new plant's output will be Solvay's Zeosil Premium HDS, which the company claims helps tires produced with the material reduce fuel consumption by up to 7 percent.
The Belgian ambassador to Poland, the mayor of Wloclawek and other local dignitaries attended the ceremony, according to the company.
Wloclawek is in central Poland and the site is close to key energy distribution and the recently completed Warsaw-Gdansk highway, according to the company. It is being built on a lot that covers more than 200 acres in a designated Special Economic Zone within Wloclawek and will be integrated within the industrial complex of Anwil, a subsidiary of the Polish refining and energy company PKN Orlen Capital Group, one of Central Europe's largest refiners of crude oil.
Solvay also is in the process of expanding its 3-year-old facility in Qingdao, China, which together with the new Polish plant will nearly double the firm's global capacity for HDS to 500,000 metric tons.