DARMSTADT, Germany – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is expanding its global production capacities and optimizing its manufacturing processes for effect pigments. The new facilities will significantly increase production capacities for silicon dioxide flakes, a special substrate for a whole range of unique effect pigments. At the end of September, the company celebrated the new production facility with a traditional ceremony marking the placement of the last beam in the structure in Gernsheim, Germany. The investment of 28 million is part of a series of initiatives to further expand the company's pigments business. Around 750 employees work at the Gernsheim site, which is also home to the company's largest pigment production facility worldwide.

“This investment will help us to even better serve our customers’ needs, strengthening our role as a leading manufacturer of premium-quality effect pigments,” said Dorothea Wenzel, Head of Surface Solutions at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, looks back at an extensive tradition in these specialty markets, as 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of our pigments business. We are now very much looking forward to adding additional exciting chapters to this successful history.”

The company's silica-based Colorstream® and Xirona® product ranges for automotive coatings and color cosmetics provide a unique color shift depending on the angle of observation, enabling eye-catching formulations. Upon completion, the new facilities will substantially increase the output of silica substrate and sustainably expand the supply capabilities for these effect pigments. The new production line is planned to begin operations in the second half of 2021.