Evonik Boosts Precipitated Silica Production in US to Address Growing Tire Demand
Evonik Boosts Precipitated Silica Production in US to Address Growing Tire Demand

Evonik Boosts Precipitated Silica Production in US to Address Growing Tire Demand

  • 07-Feb-2024 5:23 PM
  • Journalist: Rene Swann

Evonik Industries AG has taken significant strides to bolster its production capabilities for precipitated silica, announcing a substantial 50% increase in capacity at its Charleston site. This strategic initiative involves a substantial investment, described as a "mid-double-digit million euro amount," with construction slated to commence in the middle of the year. Anticipated to be operational by early 2026, this expansion is a response to the heightened demand for these materials, primarily driven by the tire industry in North America.

The investment project not only aims to address the surge in demand but also aligns with Evonik's commitment to fortify the supply chain for its partners by facilitating 'local silica sourcing.' Recognizing North America as a pivotal strategic growth region, Maike Schuh, Chief Financial Officer of Evonik and responsible for the Americas region, emphasized the significance of this expansion in meeting the evolving market demands.

The Charleston site is poised to transform into a major hub for precipitated and sustainable silica products in North America, according to Lauren Kjeldsen, Head of the Smart Materials Division at Evonik. This development aligns with Evonik's broader roadmap towards carbon neutrality for its Charleston facility, underlining the company's dedication to sustainable practices and environmental responsibility.

Emmanuel Auer, Head of the Silica Business Line, highlighted the collaborative efforts of commercial and technical teams, emphasizing the meticulous development of a robust expansion concept. The project aims to cater to 'local-to-local' demand dynamics while incorporating circular raw materials for the production of Ultrasil-branded silica. This approach aligns with the sustainability goals of the tire industry, reflecting Evonik's commitment to introducing eco-friendly solutions to its product lineup.

Utilizing silica as a tire additive holds significant environmental benefits, with Evonik stating that it can reduce the fuel consumption of a conventional passenger car by up to 8%. This aligns with broader industry trends, where North American demand for tires emphasizing reduced rolling resistance and improved fuel efficiency is witnessing above-average growth. Evonik's proactive stance in investing in modern silica production updates and strategic acquisitions globally positions the company as an industry leader committed to staying ahead of evolving market demands.

The Charleston facilities, as part of Evonik's extensive network, contribute to a total of 18 precipitated silica production sites across the world. This global footprint underscores Evonik's commitment to maintaining a robust and interconnected production infrastructure, strategically positioned to address regional demands while adhering to the company's overarching sustainability objectives.

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