ESSEN, Germany - Evonik Industries announced that it is planning to significantly increase its silica (precipitated silicic acids) production capacity over the next four years.

“By 2014, we will have gradually expanded global capacity at our existing plants by 25 percent, thus securing supply for our global customers,” said Klaus Engel, Chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries. Investments to ensure this increase in production capacity will be in the mid-double-digit million-euro range. Total capacity expansion is expected to be in the six-digit-metric-ton region and will be implemented mainly at Evonik's existing silica sites in Asia and Europe. In May 2010, Evonik had announced capacity expansion for precipitated silicas at its subsidiary INSILCO Ltd. in Gajraula, India.

These expansion plans back the group’s commitment to support its customers’ growth as a strategic partner. The move also enables Evonik to continue ensuring the availability of its precipitated silicas in all regions.

Evonik’s already strong market position is further reinforced by product innovations: the specialty silicas SIPERNAT®288 and SIPERNAT®268 are designed for highly transparent silicone rubber applications, such as keypads for cell phones, computers and remote controls. Other products for the tire industry and life science applications are being launched in the Asian market as well.

The application possibilities for precipitated silicas are diverse and manifold. Silica, along with organosilane, is a crucial component in low-rolling resistance tires. Silicas are also used as carriers and free-flow agents in the food and animal-feed industries, and serve as additives in the paint and coatings industry. Evonik produces precipitated silica at 10 sites in eight countries around the world.