GUNSAN, South Korea — Belgian chemical company Solvay Group has broken groun on a plant in Gunsan for its highly dispersible silica to meet growing demand in Asia for energy-saving tires and to develop new HDS grades.
The plant, with an annual capacity of more than 80,000 metric tons, is expected to be operational in the next two years. The investment was not disclosed.
Solvay's Silica business unit will produce high-performance silica grades including Efficium – a recently introduced product, designed to increase productivity and flexibility in producing tire compounds.
“This new production platform will be dedicated to silica innovations for Asia,” said An Nuyttens, president of the silica business unit. “Together with the silica research facility,…we are well placed to speed up innovations in close cooperation with our regional customers,”
The facility in the Saemangeum zone, close to Gunsan city in Jeollabuk-do province, will over time replace a significant part of the capacity at Solvay's silica site in Incheon, South Korea, which is located in area designated for future residential development.
The investment in South Korea, added Solvay, is another step in offering innovative solutions and in expanding its global footprint to serve customers.