News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

April 1, 2017

A look inside a silica plant expansion project

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 2:06 pm

A Dutch engineering firm, Tebodin B.V., put together the short video below, which is a look inside PPG’s expansion project for its precipitated silica plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands. According to PPG, the expansion added more than 15,000 tons of new capacity. The project was completed in 2016.

Tebodin B.V. described the project in a recent post:

PPG Industries Chemicals in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, specializes in the piloting and commercial production of silica products for clients in sectors such as food and rubber. When PPG wanted to upscale its current production capacity and add a new production line for Agilon®, a patented modified silica for the tire industry, it asked Tebodin to provide engineering services and coordinate the multidisciplinary project team. This has resulted in an expansion of the production capacity and a fully integrated and highly innovative second production line within the existing plant, which has begun production several months ahead of schedule.

The latest edition of Notch Consulting’s biannual report on the global precipitated silica industry, The Silica Market Update, will be published next week. For subscription details, contact Notch at info @ notchonsulting.com.

February 14, 2017

Evonik introduces Polyvest ST, an additive to improve silica/silane/rubber interaction

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 8:23 pm

This week at the Tire Tech Expo in Hannover, Germany, Evonik Industries introduced a new product called Polyvest ST that is designed to improve the compatibility between silica, silane, and rubber in tire formulations. Green tire technology, which uses precipitated silicas and rubber silanes like Si 69, already reduces rolling resistance by up to 30 percent relative to carbon-black-filled tires. According to Evonik, the special feature of the new development is this: according to a fundamental principle in the tire industry, known as the magic triangle, any improvement in one of the core properties of a tire— rolling resistance, wet grip, and abrasion resistance—is always at the expense of at least one of the others. Evonik’s new development further improves the compatibility of silica and rubber in combination with Si 69® or Si 266®, thus pushing out the boundaries of the triangle. The press release does not give details on Polyvest ST, but Evonik Polyvest product range consists of a range of “stereospecific, low viscous and unsaponifiable liquid polybutadienes of different chemical compositions,” according to the company’s website.

Here is the press release.

Solvay introduces new highly dispersible silica at Tire Tech

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 8:03 pm

Notch is at the Tire Tech Expo in Hannover, Germany this week. One of this year’s big product announcements at the conference came from Solvay Silica, which unveiled Premium SW, a new performance Highly Dispersible Silica (HDS). In a press release on the product, Solvay says that Premium SW is a benchmark for energy-saving and high- performance tires for passenger cars. Premium SW increases the rolling-resistance and safety in ultra high performance tires of up to 25% as well as a 15% improvement in durability for fuel efficient tires.

Premium SW also shows the most promising results compared to carbon black in the truck tire market, according to Solvay. Premium SW improves the rolling resistance by more than 30% while maintaining the same level of tread wear. Solvay is making Premium SW available from multiple production sites around the globe.

Here is the press release.

December 19, 2016

Evonik begins construction on US silica plant

Filed under: Silica, Uncategorized — Notch @ 6:30 am

Last week, Evonik Industries announced the location of its new precipitated silica plant in the United States. The $120M factory will be located in the Bushy Park industrial area near Charleston, South Carolina. Construction on the plant is expected to begin this month with completion by mid-2018. The company has not released the new plant’s capacity, but output will focus on highly dispersible grades of silica for use in passenger car tires, which can reduce rolling resistance and improve fuel economy. Here is the press release announcing the plant location. The company held a ground-breaking ceremony at the site last week.

Evonik acquires silica business of J.M. Huber for $630M

Filed under: Silica, Uncategorized — Notch @ 6:15 am

On December 9, 2016, Evonik Industries AG announced the acquisition of the silica business of J.M. Huber (Edison, NJ) for $630 million. The business operated as part of Huber Engineered Materials (Atlanta, GA) and had been part of Huber’s business line since the 1950s. The silica businesses of the two companies are complementary, as Evonik focuses on industrial applications, particularly tires and coatings, while Huber is a leader in dentifrice and consumer goods. For the 2016 financial year, Huber Silica is expected to achieve sales of close to $300 million, with an EBITDA of $60 million. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2017.

December 11, 2016

New silica producer starts up in India

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 9:30 am

Kiran Global Chems Limited, a chemical company based in Chennai, India), started up a new precipitated silica plant in SIPCOT Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India in August 2016. The silica plant operates as Allied Silica and plans to produce more than 40 grades under the AlliedSil tradename for a range of applications including tires, dental, MRG, pesticides, paints, inks, cosmetics, pharma, plastic, and animal feed. Allied Silica plans to add a second phase in 2017 that will more than double its capacity. Here is the company’s contact info.

India currently ranks as the third largest market for precipitated silica in Asia, and the sixth largest overall. India’s silica market is growing 8%-9% per year.

More detail on this expansion as well as other recent and proposed expansion projects is available in the Silica Market Update, which is published twice per year by Notch Consulting. The most recent edition of the report was published in September 2016 and includes details on 21 recent and proposed capacity expansion projects for precipitated silica, as well as global and regional supply and demand (historical and forecast), market trends, and current pricing. Here is an overview of the current report.

July 21, 2016

Evonik opens silica plant in Brazil

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 2:41 pm

On July 20, Evonik Industries announced that it had started up its new precipitated silica plant in Americana (São Paulo) Brazil. The plant focuses on highly dispersible silica used mainly for high-quality, low rolling resistance tires. In addition, the plant will serve various specialty silica segments, including  the food, animal feed, and agricultural industries. Evonik has not disclosed the capacity of the new plant or the total investment, though it did say the project budget was in the “mid-double-digit euro range.”   

In a company press release, Dr. Johannes Ohmer, member of Evonik’s Board of Management of the Resource Efficiency Segment, said: “The new plant in Americana now enables us to offer our products and solutions to our Brazilian and regional customers as well. Thanks to our dependability, outstanding services, and top-quality products, we provide customized solutions.”    

Here is the full press release.

July 12, 2016

Evonik picks S. Carolina for new silica plant

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 10:56 pm

Evonik Industries will build its new precipitated silica plant in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Evonik announced plans to build the plant last year, but did not release a location or budget. Last week, David Wren of The Post and Courier reported that the new plant will be budgeted at $129.4 million and will be located at the Bushy Park Industrial Complex in Berkeley County. Construction will begin in September 2016 and be completed by the end of 2017. The plant will benefit from a $500,000 Economic Development Grant from South Carolina to assist with site preparation and building construction. Evonik has not announced the capacity for the new plant.

April 22, 2016

Silica Market Update covers global precipitated silica industry

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 6:00 am

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 2015, while forecasts are provided for all years from 2016 to 2020 as well as 2025. 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. Average pricing is provided for various grades for the US, the European Union and ChinaAs always, the report includes a separate Excel spreadsheet providing extensive supplemental data.

For more information on this report, please write to info@notchconsulting.com.

 

February 2, 2016

PPG working with Bridgestone on fuel-efficient truck tires

Filed under: Silica, Uncategorized — Notch @ 11:40 pm

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had a story today about a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy dedicated to the development of more fuel-efficient truck and bus tires. The project brings together PPG Industries and Bridgestone Americas and involves PPG’s new Agilon performance silica, which can reduce tread rolling resistance and thereby improve fuel economy, according to PPG. The DOE is providing $1.25 million to the development project, which aims to improve the fuel efficiency of large tires by 4% to 6%, while also improving traction and tread life. The prototype tires should be developed in about three years, according to PPG.

Research and development for the project is being conducted at PPG’s research center in Monroeville, Pennsylvania and at Bridgestone’s technical headquarters in Akron, Ohio. Agilon is produced at PPG’s plant in the Delfzijl, Netherlands, where capacity is being increased this year. Last month, PPG announced it also planned to add capacity to its silica plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The project will add 10,000 tons of capacity in the second half of 2016.

 

 

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