Crain News Service report
RICHMOND, Va. (July 29, 2015) — German specialty chemicals and silica producer Evonik Industries A.G. inaugurated its Richmond Business and Innovation Center on July 21.
The new $15.4 million facility has been set up as part of Evonik's growth plan in North America, the firm said in a news release.
“Our intention is to turn Evonik into one of the most innovative companies in the world. Evonik's vigorous culture of innovation will be further strengthened by our new Richmond Business and Innovation Center,” said Klaus Engel, chairman of the company's executive board.
The center, he said, will develop new products and processes and bring together colleagues from different parts of the company to identify breakthrough technologies.
Mr. Engel added that Evonik had established strong relationships with leading universities globally in its pursuit of new technologies, citing Virginia Commonwealth University as one partner.
Evonik's manufacturing operations, which employ about 110, will remain in the city of Hopewell in greater Richmond.
“We expect to grow and add 50 jobs over the next five years. In addition, by locating the Center in the Greater Richmond area, Evonik preserved 125 local full-time jobs,” said David DelGuercio, senior vice president and general manager, Evonik Nutrition & Care, North America.
With the new facility, Evonik said it had more than doubled its laboratory and commercial space in the Greater Richmond area.
The center combines research and development, marketing, sales and customer service. Support functions such as environment safety and health, procurement, controlling and human resources also are covered.
In May, Essen, Germany-based Evonik announced that it will build a “world-scale” plant in the U.S. for precipitated silica, in large part to satisfy growing demand for the material from the tire industry.
While the company said the plant will be built in the U.S. Southeast, it did not identify the site. The bulk of the U.S.'s tire production capacity is located in the Southeast, particularly South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.
This report appeared on the website of European Rubber Journal, a London-based sister publication of Tire Business.