WACKER Production Plant for Dispersible Polymer Powders Goes on Stream in South Korea
After a 20-month construction phase, Wacker Chemie AG has brought a new spray dryer for the production of dispersible polymer powders on stream in Ulsan, South Korea. According to the company, the plant is part of an ongoing site expansion aimed at boosting the WACKER’s production capacity for dispersions and dispersible polymer powders in Asia.
The spray dryer is engineered to convert liquid dispersions into dispersible polymer powder by feeding them through an atomizer into a stream of hot gas, which dries them extremely quickly to yield a fine powder, the company stated. The plant will reportedly have a total capacity of 80,000 metric tons per year. On completion, the spray dryer will be one of the two largest of this kind in the world. The second plant with this capacity is located at WACKER’s Burghausen site. WACKER stated that the new spray dryer will create approximately 50 new jobs in Ulsan.
Construction is also underway in Ulsan on a reactor for VAE dispersions, the feedstock for dispersible polymer powders. According to WACKER, the reactor is scheduled for start-up in the first quarter of 2020. Overall capital expenditure on the plant complex, spanning the full production chain from VAE dispersions through to dispersible polymer powders, will reportedly come to some 65 million euros.
“Our binders not only enhance the properties of building materials but also make construction activities more resource-efficient,” says Peter Summo, head of the WACKER POLYMERS division. “The new plant in Ulsan will help us serve the growing market in Asia and additionally shorten our delivery routes and times.”