COLUMBIA, Md., June 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- W. R. Grace & Co. (GRA), a global leader in specialty silica, today announced the opening of its new 8,200 square-meter state-of-the-art, colloidal silica plant at its European flagship manufacturing and R&D center in Worms, Germany.
The facility doubles the worldwide production capacity of LUDOX®, Grace’s leading colloidal silica product, and significantly enhances Grace’s responsiveness to customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, (EMEA) and Asia Pacific. This will enable Grace to continue to meet growing global demand in a thriving specialty silica segment, where there is active innovation that enables future growth for key industries.
Manufacturers in diverse industries use LUDOX® colloidal silica in myriad applications as a functional ingredient and as a processing aid. Despite citations in over 30,000 patents and an abundance of existing successful applications including catalysts, investment casting binders, coatings and refractory additives, LUDOX® colloidal silicas still have considerable untapped potential with new and innovative uses continuing to emerge. Grace’s proprietary manufacturing process produces an extremely narrow particle size distribution and allows LUDOX® colloidal silica particles to be chemically customized for use in a wide range of challenging applications.
Built on more than half a century of technical and manufacturing expertise, Grace’s LUDOX® colloidal silica has earned a reputation for tightly-controlled specifications and reliable, consistent quality, making it the preferred brand for high-performance applications.
Located in Germany’s manufacturing heartland south of Frankfurt where the company has been operating since 1972, the new facility expands Grace’s manufacturing center in Worms adding approximately 25 new high-tech manufacturing jobs bringing employment at the site to approximately 950. The company’s East Chicago, Indiana LUDOX® colloidal silica plant continues to supply Grace’s customers in the Americas.
In comments at the facility’s opening, Sandra Wisniewski, President, Grace Materials Technologies, said, “Our advanced new plant enables us to better support our customers and partners and allows us to remain aligned with customer demand. 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.”
Sebastian Schaefer, Grace’s Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain, EMEA, added: “With 250,000 square meters 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. 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.”
Built on talent, technology, and trust, Grace is a leading global specialty chemical company. The company’s two industry-leading business segments—Catalysts Technologies and Materials Technologies—provide innovative products, technologies, and services that enhance the products and processes of our customers around the world. With approximately 4,000 employees, Grace operates and/or sells to customers in over 60 countries. More information about Grace is available at grace.com.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements, that is, information related to future, not past, events. Such statements generally include the words “believes,” “plans,” “intends,” “targets,” “will,” “expects,” “suggests,” “anticipates,” “outlook,” “continues,” or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding: expected financial positions; results of operations; cash flows; financing plans; business strategy; operating plans; capital and other expenditures; competitive positions; growth opportunities for existing products; benefits from new technology; benefits from cost reduction initiatives, plans and objectives; succession planning; and markets for securities. For these statements, Grace claims the protections of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. Grace is subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from its projections or that could cause other forward-looking statements to prove incorrect. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements include, without limitation: risks related to foreign operations, especially in areas of active conflicts and in emerging regions; the costs and availability of raw materials, energy and transportation; the effectiveness of Grace's research and development and growth investments; acquisitions and divestitures of assets and businesses; developments affecting Grace’s outstanding indebtedness; developments affecting Grace's pension obligations; legacy matters (including product, environmental, and other legacy liabilities) relating to past activities of Grace; its legal and environmental proceedings; environmental compliance costs (including existing and potential laws and regulations pertaining to climate change); the inability to establish or maintain certain business relationships; the inability to hire or retain key personnel; natural disasters such as storms and floods; fires and force majeure events; the economics of our customers’ industries, including the petroleum refining industry; public health and safety concerns, including pandemics and quarantines; changes in tax laws and regulations; international trade disputes, tariffs, and sanctions; the potential effects of cyberattacks; and those additional factors set forth in Grace's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K, which have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and are readily available on the internet at www.sec.gov. Grace's reported results should not be considered as an indication of its future performance. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on Grace's projections and forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the dates those projections and statements are made. Grace undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to the projections and forward-looking statements contained in this announcement, or to update them to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this announcement.