OSLO—Elkem S.A. is investing $460 million in its Xinghuo Silicones plant in China to strengthen its position in "the fastest-growing silicones market" and support its specialization strategy.
The project will increase the site's silicones production capacity by 50 percent and improve its overall cost position and environmental profile, the Norwegian silicones and chemicals supplier said in a statement.
The state-of-the-art technology will manufacture silicones for "high quality upstream products" and enable Elkem to raise specialty volumes by increasing access to high purity products and critical by-products, said Elkem, which is 80 percent owned by state-owned company ChemChina.
On the environmental front, Elkem said the site's new technologies will reduce energy consumption by 57 percent, use of raw materials by 11 percent and solid waste by 30 percent.
"Improved environmental performance was one of the key decision parameters for Elkem, in line with the company's high ambition level on environment, social and governance factors," it said.
The Xinghuo facility employs 1648 people and manufactures more than than 600 products from 80 product series, Elkem said.
The site is a "leading integrated silicones provider in China," with a capacity to manufacture 500,000 metric tons per year of silicone monomer, and 120,000 tons of downstream products