Solvay inaugurates silica capacity expansion in France

30.11.2012 -

Solvay inaugurated its highly dispersible silica capacity production expansion and its modernized R&D facility at its Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or site in France. This investment follows a similar volume expansion last year in the US and the start-up in 2010 of a new plant in China. These three investments required in total EUR 74 million.

"Our worldwide highly dispersible silica production capacity now exceeds 400,000 tons," commented Tom Benner, President of Solvay's Silica Global Business Unit. "Demand for highly dispersible silica is pulled by a growing need for safer and more energy-efficient tires and the new European Tire labeling legislation applicable from November1st," he added. "We can now meet our customers' needs globally as this new legislation takes effect."

Solvay's benchmark range Zeosil and Zeosil Premium highly dispersible silica is used by major tire manufacturers worldwide in the production of energy-saving tires providing up to 30% reduction in rolling resistance, thereby decreasing fuel consumption by up to 7%, while improving traction. The investment in Collonges includes important upgrades in control technology, ensuring the site has world-class performance for quality and environmental protection. Equipped with the latest technologies, the modernized R&D facility can now speed up innovation, and offers customers full support for development and testing of innovative silica formulations by manufacturing improved end products that meet the challenges of sustainable mobility. "The refurbishment provides more flexibility, increases productivity, and raises our best in class standard, enabling us to better serve our customers worldwide," added Site Manager Sabine Gouvernel.

Solvay's Silica Global Business Unit is the inventor and leading global provider of highly dispersible silica, which finds its main application in the production of fuel-saving tires. Solvay's silica is also used in a wide range of other key markets such as industrial applications, personal care and nutrition.