Demand for Sibelco HPQ – sold under the brand name IOTA®
– has increased substantially in recent years, driven by sustained growth in the global semi-conductor and solar photovoltaic markets. Consistent with this market growth, Sibelco has increased production of HPQ by over 30% from 2019 to 2022 by incrementally expanding its installed capacity through process efficiencies. To meet anticipated further market growth, Sibelco will invest an estimated $200 million in asset integrity, energy efficiency and further capacity expansion in Spruce Pine between 2023 and 2025 to double its installed capacity from the 2022 base.
With this major expansion of installed capacity, underpinned by a mine life potential of more than 100 years, Sibelco aims to provide its customers with an unrivalled value proposition in terms of product quality and availability as well as short- and long-term security of supply.
Expansion of installed capacity at Spruce Pine will lead to the creation of valuable new jobs in the area. Sibelco has been operating in the region since the 1970s.
“Our investment will ensure that Spruce Pine remains the world’s leading source of HPQ. We are in an excellent position to respond to market demand and ramp up production quickly and sustainably thanks to our expertise, existing infrastructure, and agile business model, all backed by Sibelco’s financial strength and ambition. We clearly understand that our IOTA® HPQ products play a critical role in the global semi-conductor and solar photovoltaic industries and with this major expansion we aim to provide an unrivalled value proposition to our customers in terms of product quality and availability as well as short- and long-term security of supply.”
Sibelco is a global leader in material solutions. Sibelco mines, processes, and sells specialty industrial minerals – particularly silica, clays, feldspathics and olivine – and is a leader in glass recycling. Sibelco’s solutions support the progress of modern life and serve industries as diverse as semi-conductors, solar photovoltaic, glass, ceramics, construction, coatings, polymers and water purification. The Sibelco Group has production facilities in more than 30 countries and a team of more than 5,000 people.
About Spruce Pine
HPQ products are produced at Spruce Pine, which is located in the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina, USA. Mined from two uniquely pure orebodies with a combined mine life potential of over 100 years, Sibelco IOTA®
HPQ products are manufactured in two expandable mineral processing plants and two advanced chemical processing plants. The IOTA®
HPQ products are used to make fused quartz, a material with unparalleled optical, mechanical, and thermal properties that make it indispensable in the manufacture of high purity products such as semi-conductor and photovoltaic crucibles and base materials, quartz lightening and optical fibres.
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Olivier Van Horenbeeck