• Investment program will expand production capacity and enhance manufacturing processes
  • Topping out ceremony for new Silica flake production facilities

Merck, a leading science and technology company, is significantly expanding its global production capacities and optimizing its manufacturing processes for effect pigments. Around 750 employees work at the Gernsheim site, which is also home to Merck's largest pigment production facility worldwide. The new facilities will significantly increase production capacities for silicon dioxide flakes, a special substrate for a whole range of unique effect pigments. Merck celebrated the topping out of the new production facility, a traditional ceremony marking the placement of the last beam in a structure, in Gernsheim end of last month. The investment of 28 million Euro is part of a series of initiatives to further expand the pigments business of Merck.

Pigments production entwickelt 1

This investment will help us to even better serve our customers’ needs strengthening our role as a leading manufacturer of premium-quality effect pigments,” says Dorothea Wenzel, Head of Surface Solutions at Merck. “Merck looks back at an extensive tradition in these specialty markets, as 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of our pigments business. We are now very much looking forward to adding additional exciting chapters to this successful history.”

Merck’s silica-based Colorstream® and Xirona® product ranges for automotive coatings and color cosmetics were exceptionally well received and perfectly met recent market trends. These pigments provide a unique color shift depending on the angle of observation, enabling eye-catching formulations for coatings and cosmetics manufacturers. Upon completion, the new facilities will substantially increase the output of silica substrate and sustainably expand the supply capabilities for these sought-after effect pigments. The new production line is planned to begin operations in the second half of 2021.

The Surface Solutions business unit is part of Performance Materials at Merck. This business sector comprises the specialty chemicals business of Merck and supplies solutions for displays, computer chips and surfaces of every kind. Performance Materials has a strategic focus on the electronics industry and serves attractive growth markets in the automotive and cosmetics industries.


About Merck
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 52,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2018, Merck generated sales of € 14.8 billion in 66 countries. Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials.

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