Enhancement of the Market Position

On January 1, 2004, Degussa AG, Düsseldorf, will acquire a majority share (51 percent) in the Turkish silica joint venture Egesil in Adapazari near Izmit. Egesil produces high-quality tire silica and was established by the proprietors of Ege Kimya AS, a 45-year-old family-owned chemical company. Following the increase in Degussa’s share, Ege Kimya AS will own a 49 percent share in the joint venture. As early as the establishment of Egesil about two years ago, Degussa announced its intention of increasing its then 25 percent share. Since that time, the planned increase in capacity from 8,000 to the current 15,000 metric tons of silica per year has also been implemented. The expansion also provided the opportunity for a simultaneous launch of a new production technology.

The primary customers for Egesil products are the tire industry and producers of mechanical rubber goods and dispersion paints. Degussa Management Board member Dr. Carl Voigt explains the importance of the move for the Group: “The increased participation will achieve a second important step in the enhancement of our market position in precipitated silicas in southeastern Europe and the near East.”

Precipitated silicas and silicates are used as carriers and anti-blocking agents in the animal feed and food industries. They are also used as pigment in the paints and colorants industry, as well as abrasives in the production of toothpaste. Together with rubber silanes and rubber blacks, silicas are an important component of “green tires,” which reduce roll resistance. Degussa is the only company worldwide to offer all three of these reinforcing agents and is also the world’s leading manufacturer of these products for the rubber industry. According to experts, there will be a significant rise in the demand for tire silicas over the next few years. With a total of 31 production sites in 18 countries, and their application technology support sites in Europe, America and Asia, Degussa is the worldwide market leader in precipitated silicas and rubber silanes, and the second-largest producer of rubber and pigment blacks.

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