WESTON — A maker of chemicals used in the semiconductor industry will be expanding its plant in Lenawee County.
Silbond, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Germany-based specialty chemicals company Evonik, will expand its production facility in Weston and add three jobs, a news release from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office said.
The expansion will allow the company to manufacture new products, including high-purity abrasives, and market them to manufacturers of liquid abrasives that are used in the production of microchips, a news release from the governor’s office said. The project is expected to generate a total capital spending of $7.9 million in 2023 and 2024.
Silbond produces chemicals that are used in the semiconductor industry as well as other chemicals that act as binders and are used in corrosion-resistant coatings, aerogel insulation and castings. Silbond currently employs 36 Michigan residents at its Weston facility.
“The new plant makes an important contribution to the strategic development of our portfolio,” Peter Friesenhahn, head of Evonik’s silanes business line, said in the release. “We are strengthening our offering for attractive, technology-driven growth markets and positioning ourselves as an innovation partner for our customers.”
The expansion of Silbond’s plant in Weston is supported by a $900,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, the release said.
Michigan was chosen for the project over competing sites in other states due to experience in producing high-purity chemicals, the talented workforce and proximity to the company’s existing and potential customers, the release said.
The project will bring immediate, high-wage jobs within a large and expanding manufacturing company and is also expected to be a catalyst for the semiconductor industry’s continued growth in the state, the release said.
Lenawee Now has offered staff, financial and economic support.
“This is the result of hard work by many and brings an exciting opportunity for further growth and collaboration,” Lenawee Now executive director Patrick Farver said in the release. “Working closely with Evonik on this expansion not only strengthens our local economy, but also creates a significant number of high-paying new jobs. This expansion is a testament to the thriving business environment in Lenawee County, and we look forward to continuing to support Silbond as they continue to grow.”
“To make sure Michigan leads the future, we need to continue to bring critical supply chains and advanced manufacturing home,” Whitmer said in the release as she started a three-day investment trip to California. “I am thrilled that this economic mission helped us forge strong relationships and win an expansion from Evonik, which help keep Michigan at the forefront of the global semiconductor industry. As governor, I will go anywhere and compete with anyone to keep telling Michigan’s story. Together, we will bring more good-paying, middle-class jobs back home and ensure anyone can ‘make it’ in Michigan. With announcements like today’s, we will build and lead the future of semiconductors and so much more.”
“Team Michigan is proud to bring home this win and build on our leadership in the semiconductor supply chain,” Michigan Economic Development Corp. CEO Quentin L. Messer Jr. said. “We are grateful for Evonik’s vote of confidence in our state. I am honored to join Governor Whitmer and Team Michigan’s entire delegation as we meet with leaders in the semiconductor industry, strengthen ties and deliver the message that anyone can ‘make it in Michigan.’ These missions play the vital role of ensuring that industry leaders know that Michigan’s welcome mat is out for businesses of all sizes that will create new opportunities for more current and future Michiganders.”