MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Munich-based chemical group Wacker is increasing its global production capacities for silicone rubber, as per the company's press release.
With expansion measures at several sites, Wacker plans to gradually raise its capacities by a total of 40,000 metric tons per year by 2021. Approximately EUR100 million has been earmarked for this capacity expansion. With these measures, WACKER is responding to the high demand for silicone rubber in key sectors such as the automotive, electronics and medical industries. These investments are part of the Wacker Silicones division’s strategy of further expanding its portfolio of specialties.
Silicone rubber is among the most sought-after elastomers in the industry. "Silicones are high-performance materials. They are essential for novel product solutions and belong to the innovation drivers in key industry sectors such as automotive, medical, and electronics," says Robert Gnann, head of the Wacker Silicones business division. "Above-average growth is being driven by the trends toward hybrid cars, electromobility and digitalization, as well as decentralized alternative electricity generation using wind and solar power. So, we are making a major contribution to increased sustainability while pursuing our strategy of clearly focusing on boosting specialties in our portfolio.
With capacity expansions in the midstream production steps and downstream production, Wacker will significantly improve the silicone-rubber availability and related service for its customers in the near future. All solid silicone rubber product groups will benefit from these expansion measures. In April of this year, Wacker already brought a new production site for silicone sealants and thermally conductive silicone compounds on stream in Jincheon, South Korea. The production of room-temperature-vulcanizing silicone elastomers and liquid silicone rubbers has also started in Amtala, India, where Wacker manufactures silicones in a joint venture with Metroark.
For 2019, the chemical group is planning further capacity enhance-ments for liquid silicone rubber, high- and room-temperature-vulcanizing silicones and thermally conductive silicone compounds at its production sites in Burghausen (Germany), Adrian (Michigan, USA) and Zhangjiagang (China). Wacker is currently also evaluating the option of building a plant for solid silicone rubber at its US-based site in Charleston, Tennessee. Wacker has been producing polysilicon there since 2016. A plant for manufacturing pyrogenic silica, an important filler for high consistency silicone rubber (HCR), will come on stream at this site next year.
As MRC informed before, Wacker Chemie AG is expanding its existing production plants for dispersions and dispersible polymer powders in South Korea. The company is building a new spray dryer for dispersible polymer powders at its Ulsan site, which will have a total capacity of 80,000 metric tons per year. The Munich-based chemicals company is also constructing an additional reactor for dispersions based on vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (EVA), which are needed as the raw material for the spray dryer to produce dispersible polymer powders. Ulsan’s plant complex, which covers the entire production chain from EVA dispersions to dispersible polymer powders, will be one of the largest of its kind in the world. Investments will total around EUR60 million and production is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2019.
Wacker Chemie AG is a worldwide operating company in the chemical business, founded 1914. The company is controlled by the Wacker-family holding more than 50 percent of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The product range includes silicone rubbers, polymer products like ethylene vinyl acetate redispersible polymer powder, chemical materials, polysilicon and wafers for semiconductor industry.