News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

October 31, 2018

Solvay Silica wins Michelin Supplier Award 2018

Filed under: Silica, Tires — Notch @ 10:58 am

Solvay has won the Michelin Supplier Award 2018 for supplier excellence in quality, innovation and corporate social responsibility, underlining the strong partnership between Michelin and Solvay. Solvay manufactures and supplies highly dispersible silica for energy saving tires.

Solvay, selected from about 40,000 companies worldwide, received the Award from Jean-Dominique Sénard, CEO of Michelin, at the company’s headquarters in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

“Solvay’s Silica teams are geared towards finding out and knowing what customers value, to deliver the innovations that meet their demands for safe, fuel-efficient tires and through all this, build a relationship of trust. We are proud that Michelin, with this Award, recognizes our collective dedication and know-how and the contribution we’ve made to sustainable value and mobility,” said An Nuyttens, President of Solvay’s Silica Global Business Unit.

Presented for the fourth time since its creation in 2011, the Michelin Supplier Awards recognize suppliers that are exemplary in meeting the company’s high standards and in their commitment to building a genuine partnership.

Read the full press release here.

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October 19, 2018

Evonik opens precipitated silica plant in South Carolina

Filed under: Silica, Tires — Notch @ 11:26 am

Evonik Industries has opened a precipitated silica plant in Goose Creek, South Carolina. 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 South Carolina site will also 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,” said Harald Schwager, deputy chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries. “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.”

Read the full press release here.

July 4, 2018

Evonik plans 1,000 job cuts by 2020

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 2:17 pm

Evonik plans to cut up to 1,000 administrative and sales positions globally by 2020 to meet its cost reduction target, according to a June 27 press release. In the fall of 2017, Evonik set itself a target of permanently reducing administrative and selling expenses by $231.1 million worldwide.

“Our goal is to build a best-in-class specialty chemicals company,” said Christian Kullmann, Chairman of Evonik’s Board of Management. “To get there we need three things: a balanced portfolio, leading innovative capability, and a new, performance-oriented corporate culture. To this end, we are now making a big step forward on the cost side. We want to accelerate decision-making and strengthen cost-awareness.”

The first $57.8 million of the permanent savings will be achieved this year and will mainly comprise material costs.

July 3, 2018

Evonik expanding silica capacity in Turkey

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 6:13 pm

June 29, 2018 — Evonik Industries announced it will increase its annual production capacity for precipitated silica at an existing production site in Adapazari, Turkey by 40,000 metric tons, investing a sum in the lower double-digit million euro range. Evonik and the EGE KIMYA company operate a joint venture in Turkey. Startup of the new production complex is scheduled for 2020. Evonik is implementing this expansion in Adapazari to support the high level of demand for the highly dispersible (HD) silica used in producing Green Tires, particularly from customers in southeastern Europe and the Middle East.

April 15, 2018

Notch updates Silica Market Update report covering global precipitated silica industry

Filed under: Silica, Uncategorized — Notch @ 5:32 pm

Notch Consulting has updated the Silica Market Update, which provides a comprehensive overview of current conditions and future prospects for the global precipitated silica industry. The report provides tables detailing silica demand by region, market, and application, current pricing by application and region (US, EU, China), nameplate production capacity by company, plant, and country, and recent and proposed capacity expansion projects. This update includes a breakdown of annual precipitated silica sales for leading suppliers by region and major application. The report provides annual demand for all years 2007 through 2017, while forecasts are provided for all years from 2018 to 2022 as well as 2027. Average pricing is provided for various grades for the US, the European Union and China.

Market segments covered in the report include tires, non-tire rubber, dentifrice, nutrition/health (food, ag feed, pharma, and cosmetics), and industrial (paper, battery separators, paints/coatings, other applications).

Applications are reinforcing fillers, abrasives, thickeners, anticaking agents, carriers, extending fillers, battery separators, matting/flatting agents, antiblocking agents, and defoamers.

Companies discussed in this report include Allied Silica Ltd. (India); Evonik Industries (Germany); Glassven Yangzhong Silicas (China); Grace Silica (Germany); Iqesil S.A. (Spain); Madhu Silica (India); Oriental Silica Corp. (Taiwan); PPG Industries (US); PQ Corp. (UK); Quechen Silicon Chemical (China); Solvay S.A. (Belgium); Tosoh Corp. (Japan); Wuxi Hengcheng Silicon (China); Zhejiang Hengdian Group (China); and Zhuzhou Xinglong Chemical (China), among others.

The Silica Market Update is published twice per year. For more information or to order, please write to info@notchconsulting.com.

April 8, 2018

Tata Chemicals to acquire Allied Silica

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 3:19 pm

On Sunday, April 8, Tata Chemicals (Mumbai, India) announced it had signed a pact with Allied Silica Limited (Chennai, India) to acquire its precipitated silica business for Rs123 crore (US$19M) on a slump sale basis.

The deal is expected to close within three months, the company said in a release. The acquisition is a part of the Rs295 crore investment approved by the board in February last year, towards this specialty business, the company said.

The business transfer agreement with Allied Silica includes the acquisition of an existing manufacturing site in Tamil Nadu, which will produce highly dispersible silica (HDS), the release said. The specialty chemical product represents a downstream value addition to Tata Chemicals soda ash business, where it ranks among the top manufacturers globally, it added.

“This acquisition is another step in our journey to build technologically enabled, differentiated businesses, with greater customer centricity, by leveraging our core strengths. “The manufacture of speciality and performance silicas is one such area. This is in line with our focus to grow our specialty business, along with our consumer business,” said Tata Chemicals managing director R. Mukundan.

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In related silica news, this week Notch Consulting will publish the latest issue of the Silica Market Update, which covers the global market for precipitated silica. The report provides data on demand, applications, market share, and pricing, as well as a discussion of the above-mentioned acquisition and other capacity developments. For more information, contact info @ notchconsulting.com

February 16, 2018

Tire Technology Expo is coming next week to Hannover

Filed under: Carbon Black, Rubber Chemicals, Silica — Notch @ 4:11 pm

Next week is the annual Tire Technology Expo in Hannover. This is one of the best tire conferences in the world, with a huge trade show and a full 3 day conference of papers. Notch will present a paper during Stream 2, “Business Strategy” on Wednesday, February 21 at 11:00 am. The paper is entitled, “Outlook for Reinforcing Fillers and Rubber Chemicals,” and it covers carbon black, precipitated silica, and rubber chemicals (antidegradants, antioxidants, accelerators). See you there!

January 18, 2018

Evonik launches new silica product

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 9:57 am

ULTRASIL® 7800 GR is a custom-tailored silica made by Evonik for use in particularly large SUV tires as well as high-mileage all-season tires. By developing ULTRASIL® 7800 GR, a silica with a customized surface area that meets the extreme demands of SUV and all-season tires, Evonik has now taken the next step in innovation.

“The challenge for SUV tires is to give the tires sufficient stiffness in spite of their size,” explains Dr. Hark-Oluf Asbahr, Marketing of Rubber Silica. “With ULTRASIL® 7800 GR, we managed to find the right mix to combine joy of driving, road safety, and resource efficiency in a single product.”

Since the United States is the largest sales market for SUVs, ULTRASIL® 7800 GR will be produced there for now. Evonik has responded to the rising demand for silica by building a new production facility in Charleston, South Carolina. The new silica plant is expected to become operational in mid-2018.

More information about the Silica/Silane technology of Evonik will be available at the stand of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH (Stand C 240) at the Tire Technology Expo in Hanover from February 20-22, 2018.

Read the full press release here.

November 11, 2017

Grace Announces 2018 Price Increase for Silica-Based Materials Technologies Products

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 4:52 pm

W. R. Grace & Co. has announced a six percent price increase for silica-based and molecular sieve products sold through its Grace Materials Technologies, effective January 1, 2018.

This pricing action will enable Grace to sustain investment in the best-in-class manufacturing capabilities, increasing regulatory compliance requirements, and R&D demanded by customers across the broad spectrum of industries the company serves.

Read the press release here for a full list of affected products.

September 5, 2017

Evonik closes purchase of Huber’s silica business

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 8:02 am

The J.M. Huber Corporation has completed the sale of the Silica business unit of Huber Engineered Materials (HEM) to Evonik Industries AG, a global specialty chemicals company. The $630 million transaction, completed after approvals from the European Commission and other global regulatory bodies, transfers ownership of the HEM Silica facilities in North America, Europe and Asia to Evonik, effective 1 September 2017.

Strategically, the transfer of the Silica business is advantageous for both companies. Proceeds from the sale will enable Huber to invest and expand its product portfolio in other areas, including potential future acquisitions of specialty chemicals or materials businesses. For Evonik, bringing together the two diverse Silica businesses will further improve the company’s value proposition as an integrated global provider, better positioned to serve a broader base of customer needs, particularly in North America and Asia.

Read the full press releases from Huber here and Evonik here.

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