Solvay has begun production of Highly Dispersible Silica (HDS) at its new plant in Wloclawek, Poland. HDS production has been increases in order to address “strong and growing regional demand for energy saving tyres”, according to the company.
With 85,000 tons of annual capacity dedicated to Solvay’s latest HDS technologies, the new plant will create more than 100 jobs in the Pomeranian region. Guests included Governor of Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province Ewa Mes, Marshal of Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province Piotr Calbecki, Vice President of Wloclawek Dorota Grabczyńska, Vice Minister of Environment Janusz Ostapiuk, as well as Belgian Ambassador Colette Taquet.
“From this plant Solvay will deliver customers in Central and Eastern Europe its latest breakthrough tire solutions which contribute to cleaner and more competitive mobility,” said An Nuyttens, president of Solvay’s Silica Global Business Unit. “Through its global market reach, innovation capabilities and increasing number of applications in passenger and truck tyres, Solvay is best-placed to meet growth opportunities in improving their performance and in lowering CO2 emissions.”
The site will produce the most advanced grades of HDS, a reinforcing agent in the tyre rubber that reduces a vehicle’s fuel consumption by as much as 7 per cent. Solvay’s HDS brands include Zeosil Premium and Efficium, another Solvay Silica invention, which is designed to help tyre makers raise productivity levels for both car and truck tyre compounds.
With the addition of Wloclawek, Solvay Silica has a strong global footprint of nine sites in Europe, South America, North America and in Asia. In South Korea, Solvay is building a plant which will also produce Efficium and, once on stream, raise Solvay’s annual silica capacity by close to 50 per cent between 2014 and 2016.