ESSEN, Germany—Evonik Industries A.G. is expanding its production capacity for fumed silica at its Antwerp, Belgium, plant, but did not specify what impact the expansion would have on production.
The Essen-based specialty chemicals company said it was investing "an amount in the upper double-digit million-euro range" in the expansion, which is scheduled to become operational in the summer of 2019.
With the expansion, Evonik can better serve the European market, as well as other key markets across the globe. Worldwide, Evonik said, fumed silica market growth rates exceed 4 percent.
The company's fumed silica product goes to market under the name Aerosil. It is typically used in coatings and paints, modern adhesive systems, transparent silicones as well as non-flammable high-performance insulation materials.
This investment is part of Evonik's strategy to concentrate on distinct specialty chemicals businesses. Silica is part of the firm's smart materials segement, one of Evonik's four strategic growth engines with above-average market growth and margin potential, according to a statement from CEO Christian Kullmann.
"Following the planned takeover of the Huber silica business and the continuous expansion of precipitated silica capacity, the Aerosil expansion in Antwerp is the next logical step," Kullmann said in a press release.
The company also said that its silane capacity is being modernized at the Antwerp site to secure the raw material supply for the Aerosil production as well as for silanes used in tire production.
Evonik's global annual production capacity for precipitated and fumed silica and matting agents is around 600,000 metric tons.