Wacker Chemie AG has announced plans to build a production plant for its HDK® brand of pyrogenic silica at its Charleston site in Tennessee. The new facility, with an annual capacity of about 13,000 metric tons, is anticipated to involve capital expenditure of some $150 million. Construction work will start in the second quarter of 2017, with completion planned for the first half of 2019. This is expected to create some 50 new jobs at the Charleston site.
“The additional capacities strengthen our market position as a leading global producer of pyrogenic silica and help us to meet our customers’ growing demand,” said WACKER CEO, Dr. Rudolf Staudigl. “The new plant is the next logical step toward expanding Charleston into a fully integrated silicon site in the world’s second-largest chemical market.”
According to WACKER, the new facility is a key addition to the Charleston site’s supply chain. The main byproduct of polysilicon manufacturing is tetrachlorosilane, which either has to be converted and fed back into the production loop or can be used to create added value by being further processed into HDK. By integrating the polysilicon and HDK production systems, as already operated at its Burghausen and Nünchritz sites in Germany, WACKER hopes to achieve maximum flexibility in the reprocessing of tetrachlorosilane, avoid the need to dispose of waste products, and thereby enhance the efficiency of the integrated production system as a whole.