Key Events in 2015
Focusing on Health
A new health center was built at the Burghausen site. WACKER invested some € 4 million in the new center, and the state- of-the-art medical technology there, to provide flexible health care to the site’s approximately 10,000 employees. The center’s outpatient facility is staffed around the clock with paramedics. This investment underpins WACKER’s commitment as an employer to the health of its employees – especially since working life is longer.
Food-Grade Solid Resins
WACKER commissioned a new production plant for food-grade polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) solid resins at its Nanjing site in China. The solid resins are used for manufacturing gumbase. The Group invested around € 20 million in this expansion project, strengthening its position as the world’s leading manufacturer of PVAc solid resins for the chewing-gum industry. With an annual capacity of 20,000 metric tons, the plant is the largest of its kind in Asia and is certified to the highest food standards.
IPO of Siltronic AG
Siltronic shares started trading on June 11, 2015 in the regulated market segment (Prime Standard) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. A total of 12.65 million shares were placed, consisting of 5 million new shares issued through a capital increase at Siltronic and 7.65 million shares originally held by WACKER. The issue price was set at € 30 per share. The total proceeds from the IPO amounted to just under € 380 million. The free float for Siltronic AG stood at 42.2 percent, with WACKER holding a 57.8-percent stake in the company.
Online Sustainability Report
WACKER published its Sustainability Report for 2013/2014. The facts and figures in the publication illustrate that WACKER has made further progress in many areas that are important for sustainable business management. For example, the company has reduced its specific energy consumption for polysilicon production by 29 percent. WACKER again published the report exclusively as an online version – also in the interests of environmental protection.
Company of the Year
The weekly publication ICIS Chemical Business named WACKER as its Company of the Year. The jury stated that WACKER had captured strong growth in 2014, kept costs under control and pushed profits and margins higher against a difficult global economic and oil-price environment. The Group had increased its 2014 sales despite the challenging conditions and was wellpositioned for future gains. The jury’s analysis took into account absolute and year-on-year profits and margins performance as well as sales and profits growth.
Outstanding Logistics Strategy
The German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) held a Responsible Care® competition in 2015 on the theme of “We have good ideas for transport safety and sustainable logistics.” At the award ceremony in Hamburg, the VCI honored a WACKER project designed to optimize overseas freight shipments. WACKER had submitted a sustainable strategy for efficient container management. This has reduced the number of empty containers transported since 2011 by 20 percent, thereby cutting CO2 emissions, too. The jury praised the “quantifiable success” and “optimization of the entire logistics chain.” Prior to this, the Bavarian branch of the VCI had already presented its Responsible Care® Award to WACKER for this project.
New Dispersions Plant in the USA
WACKER started operating a new plant for vinyl acetate-ethylene (VAE) copolymer dispersions at its US site in Calvert City, Kentucky. The Group invested around € 50 million in expanding production and infrastructure there. This additional capacity enables WACKER to meet rising global demand for dispersions and dispersible polymer powders. WACKER has been manufacturing such products at its Calvert City site since 1998.
Change in Executive Board
Dr. Joachim Rauhut, CFO of Wacker Chemie AG, left the company as planned when his contract expired on October 31, 2015. Dr. Tobias Ohler, a WACKER Executive Board member since early 2013, took over as CFO. Dr. Christian Hartel, previously in charge of WACKER SILICONES, joined the Executive Board, effective November 1, 2015.
New Production Site in the USA
WACKER has been gradually starting up its facilities at the new polysilicon production site in Charleston, Tennessee (USA) since December 2015. The new site is the largest investment project in the Group’s history to date. The decision to build in Tennessee is part of WACKER’s strategy of operating fully integrated, local sites for siliconbased products in the world’s key economic regions.