CHESTER, Pa.—Evonik Corp. has completed its 20,000 metric ton expansion at its precipitated silica site in Chester.
According to Andreas Fischer, head of Evonik's silica business line, the expansion was part of Evonik Industries A.G.'s initiative to increase capacity globally for precipitated silica by 30 percent since 2010.
“Demand for precipitated silica is increasing,” Fischer said. “Our expansion in Chester will enable us to keep pace with the growth of our customers and to meet the requirements of the tire, food and other industries.”
Precipitated silica is prevalent in the automotive sector, as the silica is used to manufacture fuel-efficient tires that reduce the rolling resistance and achieve fuel savings compared with conventional car tires, according to David Elliott, site manager at Evonik's Chester facility.
Precipitated silica also is used as an ingredient in the food and animal feed industries, as well as in paints and coatings.
In July, Evonik said it would build a plant to produce precipitated silica outside Sao Paulo, Brazil. The facility is scheduled to go on stream in 2016. The increased development in North and South America follows expansions that have already been completed in Europe and Asia. A production plant extension was completed in Thailand in March 2014.
Evonik has a worldwide capacity of about 550,000 metric tons of precipitated and fumed silica and matting agents per year.
Evonik, headquartered in Essen, Germany, has more than 33,500 employees and has generated sales totaling more than $16 billion.