Wacker is expanding its silicone elastomer production capacity in Jincheon, South Korea. The new facilities will include production plants for silicone sealants, specialty silicones and liquid silicone rubber. At the same time, existing production units in Jincheon will be transferred to the new site.
München/Germany – Investments for the expansion will total around €16 million. Construction work will officially start end of July, production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2018. The new expansion project is WACKER’s response to growing regional demand for silicone elastomers in the construction, electronics and automotive industries.
The new production site is located in Jincheon, roughly 100 km southeast of Seoul. “The Asian market for sealants and encapsulants is growing at an incredible rate,” noted Wacker Executive Board member Auguste Willems. “In order to meet increasing demand over the long term, we have decided to significantly increase our production capacity in Jincheon.”
Wacker operations in Jincheon began in 2010 with the production of silicone sealants for construction applications and a variety of specialty silicone products for the electronics industry. Due to space constraints, however, capacity expansions at the existing site are not possible. For this reason, the company will dismantle the production facilities there late next year and transfer them to the new site in Jincheon.
For several years now, the German chemical company has been developing specialty silicone gels, encapsulants and thermally conductive silicone adhesives for the electronics and lighting industries. During this time, South Korea has emerged as a stronghold for automotive and consumer electronics. That makes Jincheon the perfect location for these kinds of specialty silicones, Willems added.
Silicone sealants and specialty silicones will be produced in physically separate areas on the site, which has a size of 2.5 acres. The building will also include its own cleanroom area for producing and packaging silicone gels, encapsulants and silicone elastomer products under suitable conditions – an increasingly frequent demand, especially for optical applications.