Evonik invests in a production plant expansion for fumed aluminum oxide at its site in Yokkaichi, Japan. The facility will be the company’s first alumina plant in Asia, focusing on the production of specialty solutions for lithium-ion battery technologies, used for electric vehicles.
Evonik will spend a mid-double-digit million Euro investment, starting the construction in summer 2023. The expansion is scheduled to become operational in 2025, creating additional jobs in the region. The investment is supported by funds from the Japanese government.
Evonik’s strategic transformation targets investments in green growth and to make sustainability a core innovation driver. By 2030, Evonik aims to invest more than €3 billion in Next Generation Solutions. “One of these are our solutions for battery technologies for electric vehicles, coming from the Smart Materials Division”, says Lauren Kjeldsen, President of the Smart Material Division. “By the investment in this Next Generation Solutions, Evonik supports the battery industry and customer growth particular in Asia by providing more sustainable and highly-innovative solutions.”
“We focus on providing our lithium-ion battery customers access to an improved performance and next level of safety properties,” says Emmanuel Auer, Head of Business Line Silica, and adds: “AEROXIDE, an aluminum oxide for ultra-thin separator coatings for the next generation lithium-ion batteries, enables longer mileage for electrical vehicles. It also improves safe usage and fast charging of batteries. The solution provides more durable operation and contributes to higher energy density.”
Asia is the growing region for new generations of batteries in electric vehicles and powder coating. “With this expansion investment, we further commit to accelerated growth in the lithium-ion-battery market and secure regional supply for all customers located in the fast growing battery markets of China, Japan, and Korea,” says Susanne Reinhart, Regional Head APAC of Business Line Silica.
The Yokkaichi team has long-lasting experience in fumed oxide production processes. For more than 50 years, the site has been operating in a Joint Venture of Evonik and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation and serves as production hub for a broad range of fumed oxides. The facility in Japan was identified as viable and safe location, with favorable logistics to the markets of China, Japan, and Korea. The investment underlines Evonik’s commitment to Japan and ensures high supply reliability to Asia.
Over the past years, Evonik continuously invested in modern silica production updates and strategic acquisitions around the globe to further enhance the business. The fumed aluminum oxide production expansion is part of a network of eight fumed oxide production sites globally and a key milestone of the strategic growth plan on specialty applications.
Evonik is a leading global manufacturer of silica. In addition to the fumed silica AEROSIL and the precipitated silica ULTRASIL, SIPERNAT, ZEODENT and SPHERILEX, Evonik also produces silica-based matting agents under the ACEMATT brand name and other fumed metal oxides under the brand AEROXIDE.