Crain News Service report
MAPTHPHUT, Thailand (July 26, 2013) — Evonik Industries A.G. is expanding precipitated silica capacity at its 13-year-old site in Maptaphut by an undisclosed amount.
Funded by an investment in the "lower double-digit million Euro range," according to the company, completion is due for the first quarter of 2014.
Thomas Haeberle, Evonik executive board member, said "the purpose of our expansion strategy is to allow us to support the growth of our key customers in southeast Asia and around the world."
Evonik declined to disclose the plant's capacity or the the scale of the expansion.
Using silica in combination with silanes allows manufacturers to produce tires that greatly reduce rolling resistance, yielding fuel savings of up to 8 percent compared to traditional car tires.
Evonik quoted estimates that the worldwide market for low-rolling-resistance tires will grow by 18 percent per annum over the next five years.
Johannes Ohmer, president of Evonik's inorganic materials business unit, claimed the company is "the only manufacturer to offer both [silica and silanes], and, for our customers in the tire and rubber industry, that makes us an expert partner for high-performance tire blends."
The project is part of Evonik's plan to expand its global silica capacity by 30 percent between 2010 and 2014.
Included in that expansion is a new plant to be built in Brazil.
Essen, Germany-based Evonik formerly was known as Degussa A.G.
This report appeared on the website of European Rubber Journal, a UK-based sister publication of Tire Business.