Aligns Strategy with Global Growth and Silicone Demand
WACKER Chemical Corporation, part of Wacker Chemie AG, has announced plans for a number of expansion projects in the Americas region. Intended to support regional growth and demand for silicones and HDK® pyrogenic silica, the triple digit million U.S. dollar expansion aligns with the company’s expansion strategy for Europe and Asia.
“WACKER’s expansion strategy is designed to support continued growth in demand for silicone products, further increase customer satisfaction, and accelerate product development,” said Dr. Ian Moore, Wacker Chemical Corporation vice president Silicones.
According to Moore, the growing demand for silicone has been seen across all market segments, with stronger growth coming from the automotive and transportation, health care, and personal care industries. In addition to capacity expansion, silicone elastomers, fluids, emulsions, and HDK pyrogenic silica demand necessitates that WACKER also employ significant resources to support its customers’ needs in growing their businesses.
“WACKER’s current investment strategy in infrastructure and capacity expansion in the Americas region will involve several coordinated projects,” Moore said. “Already looking at this past summer, we opened the Silicones R&D Center located in Ann Arbor, MI. Having this 10,000-square-foot research and development center situated in the Michigan Innovation Headquarters facility complements WACKER’s business model of being close to our customers and close to serving regional market trends.
“Currently under construction and scheduled to open in mid-2019 is our HDK plant in Charleston, TN. When open, the plant will provide our customers a regionally sourced supply of pyrogenic silica, having an annual capacity of some 13,000 metric tons. WACKER has earmarked some US$150 million for this investment.”
In addition, plans are underway to significantly expand production capacity at WACKER sites which manufacture silicone elastomers, fluids, and emulsions. This expansion will be accomplished through infrastructure development and investments in additional equipment.