GOOSE CREEK, S.C.—Evonik Industries has inaugurated a precipitated silica plant in South Carolina, aimed at better serving the U.S. tire industry.
The $120 million investment comes in response to increasing demand from the North American tire industry for precipitated silica, which Evonik said can help improve the rolling resistance and the wet grip of tires.
The Goose Creek location places the plant in close proximity to a number of tire makers.
The South Carolina site also will manufacture the recently developed Ultrasil 7800 GR silica, which Evonik said is suited to extra-large tires, which support the growing SUV market in the U.S. Due to its larger specific surface area, Evonik claims, Ultrasil 7800 GR is said to gives a tire's tread compound more rigidity without negatively impacting its processability.
"The opening of the new production plant is an important step in strengthening our position as a global partner for the tire industry," Harald Schwager, deputy chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries, said in a statement. "In the expansion of our silica business, we're following a clear strategy. In addition to taking over the activities of Huber Silica, we're continually expanding our capacities for silica."
With the opening, Evonik added 40 new jobs.