PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) announced today that it is increasing precipitated silica production capacity at its Lake Charles, Louisiana, manufacturing plant by more than 10,000 tons per year in response to growing demand.
“PPG remains committed to the precipitated silica market, and this investment will enable us to meet growing demand for our products among key strategic customers and target segments in the Americas,” said Anup Jain, PPG vice president, specialty coatings and materials. Jain said PPG would achieve the 10,000-tons-per-year capacity increase through debottlenecking projects that are already underway and expected to come online in the second half of 2016.
The debottlenecking projects at Lake Charles build on a 22,000-tons-per-year capacity increase that came online in mid-2014 and phased debottlenecking projects that came online in 2012.
In February 2015, PPG announced expanded precipitated silica production at its Delfzijl, Netherlands, plant, designed in part to meet growing demand among global tire manufacturers for AGILON® performance silica. Jain confirmed that the Delfzijl expansion remains on schedule to come online in mid-2016.
In addition to these expansions, PPG is also evaluating additional significant silica expansion projects in Europe and North America based on growing demand.
PPG pioneered synthetic precipitated silica products, becoming one of the first manufacturers to bring them to the marketplace in the 1930s. Today, PPG’s silica products group is a global technology leader in the manufacture of precipitated silica products for use as reinforcing fillers in tire, industrial, footwear and silicone rubber applications; as microporous fillers in battery separator applications; as flatting and thickening agents in coating, adhesive and sealant applications; and as anti-caking, free-flow and carrier agents in food, feed and industrial applications. As part of PPG’s specialty coatings and materials business, the silica products group serves customers through a global network of manufacturing, research and technical-support facilities.