Elkem is expanding its specialty silicones facility to support the growing demand in EMEA and the Americas markets.
The global manufacturer of silicon-based advanced materials Elkem has recently announced it will implement a new strategic investment plan to provide new specialty silicones to customers in the EMEA and Americas markets. The company is expected to invest almost €36 million (around $42 million) to upgrade its silicone upstream plant in Roussillon (France).
The 20,000 metric tons capacity expansion has already been approved by the board of directors, bringing the effective facility capacity to 100,000 metric tons per annum, while ensuring at the same time productive, sustainable and cost-efficient improvements to equipment and technology. Elkem’s chemical plant is also undergoing landmark transformations to protect its competitiveness and decarbonise the operations, thanks to dynamic partnerships between industrial and local stakeholders.
“At a time when silicones and their raw materials are in shortage, the expansion is cornerstone to meeting the future needs of our specialty silicones customers in EMEA and the Americas, where the market is expected to grow by around 6% per year between 2020 and 2025. This investment complements the ongoing capacity expansion at our Xinghuo site in China, which primarily serves growth in the Asia-Pacific region and further strengthens our cost position as well as environmental performance,” stated Frédéric Jacquin, Senior Vice President in charge of the Silicones Division at Elkem.
The investment, anticipated to come online during the third quarter of 2023, is the largest expansion project of Elkem’s European silicones franchise in a decade. It further confirms the strategic importance of the Rhône Valley for Elkem’s silicones division, after the acquisition of a third manufacturing site in the area and the opening of a new global research and innovation centre.