GE Expands Production Capacity to Meet Strong Demand for Advanced NXT Silane

GE announced that it has expanded its capacity for high technology silanes used in the production of silica tires and other high-performance products. Using a proprietary process designed by GE engineers, production start-up commenced in the third quarter of 2004, and last week additional capacity was brought on-line to meet the high demand for this new technology. GE's NXT silane is produced at a plant in Texas City, Texas. GE declined to disclose its investment in the new capacity for competitive reasons. NXT silane is a patented GE molecule that helps circumvent the long, slow, multi-step process required when traditional silanes are used to mix silica with rubber for silica tires. Production line throughput can be improved because silica tire compounds can be processed hot, hard, and fast when NXT silane is used. GE estimates that the tire industry could potentially realize several hundred million dollars in manufacturing cost savings with the new NXT silane technology. "With raw material prices escalating, the NXT silane family of products may offer tire manufacturers significant cost reductions in other areas," said Wayne Hewett, president and CEO of GE Advanced Materials-Silicones.

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