Specialty silica company W.R. Grace & Co. (Grace) (Columbia, Maryland, USA) has opened a new 8,200 m2 (88,264.1 f2) colloidal silica plant that will double the global production capacity of LUDOX, the company’s leading colloidal silica product.
This new, state-of-the-art facility is part of Grace’s European flagship manufacturing and research and development (R&D) center in Worms, Germany. According to the company, the new plant enhances Grace’s responsiveness to customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific, as it continues to meet growing global demand in a thriving specialty silica segment.
LUDOX colloidal silica is used by various industries in a myriad of applications, including as a functional ingredient and a processing aid. Grace’s proprietary manufacturing process produces an extremely narrow particle size distribution that allows its colloidal silica particles to be chemically customized for use in a wide range of challenging applications.
The new facility in Worms adds 25 new high-tech manufacturing jobs, thereby bringing the total number of employees to approximately 950. In addition to its German plant, Grace operates a LUDOX colloidal silica plant in East Chicago, Illinois that supplies Grace’s customers in the United States.
“Our advanced new plant enables us to better support our customers and partners and allows us to remain aligned with customer demand,” says Sandra Wisniewski, president of Grace Materials Technologies. “This expansion, combined with our existing manufacturing facilities, talented and experienced employees, and best-in-class technologies, are evidence of exciting growth at Grace and our dedication to our LUDOX colloidal silica customers worldwide.”
“With 250,000 square meters [2,690,977.6 f2] of site property, Worms is one of Grace’s largest production facilities, serving both as a center of best practice and as a hub for the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions,” adds Sebastian Schaefer, Grace’s vice president for Integrated Supply Chain, EMEA. “The new plant allows us to further enhance our broad portfolio of products and will strengthen Worms as a cornerstone of our services in our Refining Technologies, Specialty Catalysts, and Materials Technologies operating segments. Overall, today’s announcement is a real step change for Grace and the future of the colloidal silica market.”
Source: W.R. Grace & Co., www.grace.com.