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Rhodia inaugurates new silica plant in Illinois

On Wednesday, November 9, Rhodia inaugurated its expansion of highly dispersible silica production at its Chicago Heights, Illinois site. The expansion of 16,000 tons increases Rhodia’s North American capacity by 33 percent.

“One year after commissioning our new plant in Qingdao, China, this additional increase in production capacity confirms our continued commitment to leadership in highly dispersible silica,” commented Tom Benner, president of Silica, in a company press release. “We are also in the construction phase of a similar expansion at Collonges au Mont d’Or, France that will be completed in 2012. “Combined,” he explained, “these three latest investments increase our global capacity of highly dispersible silica over 40 percent, ensuring that we are prepared now to meet long- term growth expectations associated with demand for fuel-saving tires.”

The Chicago Heights site, located south of Chicago, Illinois, founded in 1995, is one of eight Rhodia sites producing highly dispersible silica at the highest quality standard for fuel-saving tires, battery separators, and other key markets.

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