WACKER’s investment activities continued to center on expanding polysilicon-production capacities. Investments in 2012 increased against 2011 to €1.1 billion (2011: €981.2 million). The most important investment project was the construction of a polysilicon site in Tennessee, USA (Poly 11). Due to the difficult solar-market situation, WACKER decided to extend the time horizon for completing the production facilities in Tennessee. The site is expected to commence operations mid-2015, around 18 months later than originally planned. Last year, we concluded the full start-up of the Poly 9 expansion stage at Nünchritz. In 2012, these two projects involved a total of €621 million in additions to property, plant and equipment.
At our Chinese site in Nanjing, we are constructing two new plants for our WACKER POLYMERS and WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS divisions. WACKER POLYMERS is adding a new reactor with annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons to its existing production plants for vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions. WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS’ new plant in Nanjing will produce polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) solid resins for gumbase, with an annual capacity of 20,000 metric tons.
We are also expanding dispersion capacity at our production site in Ulsan (South Korea). The new reactor there will have an annual capacity of 40,000 metric tons. In 2012, capital expenditures on these three projects totaled €31.4 million.
WACKER invested €118.1 million in joint ventures and associates. Funds mainly went into expanding our 300 mm wafer joint venture with Samsung Electronics in Singapore. They were also used to finance our associated company with Dow Corning for the production of siloxane in China.
WACKER did not divest any business segments or product businesses in 2012.
We closed our captive acetic-acid production at Burghausen. Now, we procure the required amounts externally at a better price, with the same level of supply security.
As planned, we closed Siltronic’s production site in Hikari (Japan) in 2012. In March 2012, we announced that we would streamline production capacity for 150 mm silicon wafers. At Portland (USA), production of this wafer diameter ended in the third quarter. A special personnel program was in place for handling the job cuts. The expenses for this capacity adjustment amounted to around €15 million and are reflected in EBITDA. At Burghausen, the site’s 150 mm workforce was reduced. Together, these steps affected around 1,000 employees.