GOOSE CREEK, S.C.—A new liquid sodium silicate facility at the Charleston International Manufacturing Center at Bushy Park in Goose Creek is a bid to support companies like Evonik Industries A.G.
Cooper River Partners, L.L.C., a subsidiary of Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, is investing $20 million in its CIMC to build an 87,000-sq.-ft. facility on-site, said Nathan Wingate, vice president of utility operations and engineering for CRP.
The liquid sodium silicate facility will bring the capacity to dissolve about 150 million pounds per year of sodium silicate glass, and allows for potential future expansion with incremental investment, he said. The facility will create 11 jobs.
In December 2016, Evonik revealed plans to build a precipitated silica facility at CIMC, including an on-site sodium silicate production facility, as the primary raw material used in the precipitated silica process. CRP partnered with Evonik to own and operate the facility and provide the materials to Evonik, Wingate said.
"The demand for precipitated silica in North America is growing pretty dramatically," Wingate said. The product can be used in a variety of applications, but Evonik's facility will produce a tire grade that can be used to make tires more fuel-efficient and improve wet-grip properties. Liquid sodium silicate itself can be used in production for goods such as tires, adhesives and detergents.
As an industrial service provider, CRP supplies tenants with utilities services such as steam, compressed air, processed water, wastewater treatment and ammonia refrigeration.
"Over the past several years, we sought to diversify our services and become sort of a one-stop shop for industrial services," Wingate said. "We want to allow our customers to focus on their core business, and we take care of everything else for them."
With Evonik's plans for the new precipitated silica facility, it made sense to move forward on providing liquid sodium silicate as well, Wingate said.