Wacker Chemie will expand its production capacities for silicone and polymer products in China and continue to reinforce its research and development capability in order to further strengthen its market position in the region, the Munich-based chemical company announced.
Munich/Germany — Specifically, the company is expanding its solid silicone rubber manufacturing facility in Zhangjiagang as well as its production capacity for vinyl acetate-ethylene (VAE) copolymer dispersions at its plant in Nanjing. The company’s technical center in Shanghai will also be expanded. This includes new R&D labs for silicone fluids and resins, pyrogenic silica and room-temperature-curing silicone elastomers. A food application lab for products from the Biosolutions division is also scheduled. A total investment of € 20 million (approx. $ 23,3 million)chas been earmarked for these expansion projects.
Most of the funds will be used for technical measures to eliminate production bottlenecks and to expand capacity. One investment focus is on the Zhangjiagang site, where the company manufactures pyrogenic silica and several silicone products, including solid silicone rubber. By building a new production line, the company will be able to add several thousand metric tons of solid silicone rubber capacity in the future. At the Nanjing polymer site, process-engineering improvements for the manufacture of VAE dispersions will boost the annual production capacity by up to 30,000 metric tons. The announced expansion and debottlenecking measures are expected to be completed in the second half of 2018.