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Inorganic Chemicals

PPG may exit silica business as other firms expand

by Michael McCoy
January 19, 2024 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 102, Issue 2

 

PPG Industries says it has hired Morgan Stanley to help it review alternatives, including a sale, for its silica products business, which accounts for 1–2% of the company’s annual sales of about $18 billion. PPG, a leading paint maker, has been in the silica business since the 1930s. The business employs about 350 people and includes plants in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Delfzijl, the Netherlands, as well as smaller facilities in Barberton, Ohio, and Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Separately, two other firms are increasing their investment in silica and silicates. PQ has acquired the specialty silicates business of the Switzerland-based vanBaerle Group for an undisclosed sum. vanBaerle has about 50 employees and produces silicates for uses such as industrial welding. And Nouryon has completed a 50% expansion of a plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin, that makes Levasil brand colloidal silicas. The silicas are used to polish metals, such as silicon, and as a concrete additive, among other applications.

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