News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

July 22, 2014

Evonik Industries building precipitated silica plant in Brazil

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 6:30 am

Evonik Industries (Essen, Germany) plans to build a plant to produce highly dispersible precipitated silica in São Paulo, Brazil by 2016. The new factory is budgeted in the mid-double-digit million euro range. Highly dispersible silica (HDS) is used mainly for high-quality low rolling resistance tires. The plant also will service South America’s food, animal feed, and agricultural industries.

Dr. Johannes Ohmer, head of Evonik’s Inorganic Materials Business Unit, said: “The new plant in Americana will enable us to offer our Brazilian and regional customers high-quality silicas from local production in combination with our outstanding services.”

According to Evonik, the market for low rolling resistance tires and, consequently, for HD silicas, has been growing much stronger than the market for conventional tires in South America. Evonik expects additional demand due to a planned tire labeling program for fuel efficiency for passenger car tires in Brazil. Evonik is the only company in the world that offers both HDS and silane coupling agents, which are used to improve the dispersion and processing of silica in the compound.

Evonik is expanding its silica capacities throughout the world: By the end of 2014 alone, they will have grown by around 30 percent compared to 2010. In Chester, Pennsylvania, a plant for precipitated silica with an annual capacity of about 20,000 metric tons is scheduled to begin operations in 2014. The expansion in North and South America follows expansions that have already been completed in Europe and Asia.

In addition to precipitated silica, Evonik Industries produces Aerosil fumed silica and Acematt silica-based matting agents. Evonik has a worldwide capacity of about 550,000 metric tons per year for precipitated silica, fumed silica, and matting agents together.

July 10, 2014

Equity firm acquires Emerald Performance Materials

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 5:07 pm

Rubber News reports that New-York-based private equity firm American Securities L.L.C. plans to acquire specialty chemicals maker Emerald Performance Materials L.L.C. from Sun Capital, Inc. The deal is being executed with the cooperation of members of Emerald’s management team. Emerald, which is based in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was formed in 2006 as an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, following the divesture of certain businesses from Lubrizol. The company produces chemicals for a range of niche consumer and industrial markets—including tires, structural adhesives, coatings, composites, flooring, flavors and fragrances, and food and beverages. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Financial details and the names of the members of the management team involved in the purchase were not disclosed.

July 2, 2014

Evonik building silanes research center in Germany

Filed under: Rubber, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 6:00 am

Evonik Industries (Essen, Germany) is building a new research center for silanes at its factory in Rheinfelden, Germany. Ground-breaking was held on June 30, 2014 and the facility is scheduled to be complete in early 2016. The investment was valued in the “double-digit-million euro range.” Silanes are used in electronics, tires, adhesives and sealants, and plastics. Application engineering, analytics, and quality management will also be located in the new research center in the future. The center is a logical fit for the Rheinfelden site, which supports an integrated silane chemical production network encompassing research, development, application technology, and production.

The new research center will house up 70 employees in an area of around 3,500 square meters. In a press release on the project, Peter Dettelmann, head of the Rheinfelden site, explained its focus of activity as follows: “The silanes we are researching into here make chips in smartphones faster and more efficient, protect buildings from corrosion and dirt, and enable fuel-saving tires or longer-lasting paints.”

Evonik produces silanes at its sites in Rheinfelden, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; Rizhao, China; Mobile, Alabama; and Weston, Michigan. The specialty chemical company also operates laboratories for application technology support and regionally specialized research for silanes in China, India, Germany, and the United States. Evonik’s silane portfolio comprises chlorosilanes and organo- functional silanes with an overall annual capacity of 300,000 metric tons.

Here is the press release.

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