Foreign Investments Europe Substantial expansion of PPG Industries Chemicals
The company PPG Industries Chemicals in the town of Delfzijl is set to expand its production capacity significantly in a number of stages. This fall will see the addition of a reaction vessel, a dry/dust filter and associated equipment, together ensuring the manufacture of 5,000 tons of silica. The company is currently manufacturing 40,000 tons of silica. The expansion will create new, permanent jobs.
The expansion is the result of a growing demand for silica. Uses of the powder include the manufacture of automobile tires, ensuring lower rolling resistance and therefore higher fuel economy. Silica also ensures better snow and water drainage from tires in winter. The powder is also used in zero-maintenance batteries, as an anticoagulant in dried soups, spices and milk powder, as a fluxing agent in paints and finishes, as a filler, binder or abrasive in toothpaste and as a raw material for synthetic paper.
Plant manager Jan Zuidema tells of the special place that the company on the Oosterhorn business park in Delfzijl has within the PPG multinational corporation. “With our 52 employees plus a few flexi-workers, we are just a very small part of a big multinational enterprise. That's obvious: more than 43,000 people worldwide work for the group. But in fact our product group is where new ideas are hatched for the whole of PPG. New production methods are tried here first, precisely because we are small but we do have a very strong innovative team. And we are in the forefront of the group in matters of safety, environment and health.” This fall's expansion is not expected to create new jobs immediately, but it will in the next phases, according to Zuidema. “Over time, we expect to create room for ten to fifteen additional full-time employees. Production capacity will grow by around 50 percent.” PPG strives to expand in the most sustainable manner possible. “We have a reputation to uphold in these matters”, says Zuidema. “Not only do our products lower fuel consumption, we are also saving a lot on gas thanks to the steam supply from our energy supplier E-on.” PPG is currently investigating opportunities to use more alternative energy sources and resources such as unused hot air, reuse of waste water and connections to mains networks for industrial gases and pressurized air.
PPG Industries is a global market leader in coatings and related products. The company was established in 1883 and serves customers in industry, transport, consumer products, construction and maintenance. PPG is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa. The corporation has operations in more than sixty countries. The turnover in 2010 was over $ 13.4 billion. PPG is a NYSE listed company.