Key Events Affecting Business Performance

On September 7, 2017, a technical defect led to a hydrogen explosion that damaged a plant section at our site in Charleston, USA. As this plant section is essential for the entire manufacturing process, production was shut down. WACKER does not expect this incident to result in any notable financial damage, since the property damage and loss of production are insured. However, the production shutdown reduced the volume of WACKER had available for sale by around 6,000 metric tons.


Early in 2017, WACKER sold an initial 1.8 million shares of its stake in Siltronic AG on the stock exchange, generating proceeds of €87.6 million. On March 15, 2017, WACKER then relinquished its majority stake in Siltronic AG. In a bookbuilding offering, WACKER sold around 6.3 million of its shares in Siltronic to institutional investors at a price of €56.06 per share. The gross proceeds from the placement amounted to about €353.2 million. With 30.8 percent ownership, WACKER remains an important Siltronic shareholder. Since March 15, 2017, the Group’s stake in Siltronic has been accounted for using the equity method.

Capital Expenditures

Capital expenditures were at a comparable level to the year before. They amounted to €326.8 million in the reporting year (2016: €338.1 million).

The chemical divisions were at the center of WACKER’s investing activities, with a number of projects in different countries. In Jincheon, South Korea, we built new facilities to manufacture sealants and specialty silicones. Investment spending on that project amounted to around €15 million. At Burghausen, Germany, a new dispersion reactor with an annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons expanded the site’s existing plants for binders. About €25 million was spent on that. In addition, WACKER worked on a series of smaller investment projects.

In 2017, we launched a number of other investment projects. At our site in Charleston, Tennessee (USA), we started building a plant for , which will have a total investment volume of US$150 million. In Holla, Norway, we are expanding our production facilities for metal. Some €25 million went toward this project in 2017. In Ulsan, South Korea, construction started on new production facilities for and . Around €60 million is budgeted for this expansion. In León, Spain, we are modernizing a large-scale fermentation plant that we acquired in late December 2016. WACKER is investing a total of about €15 million in modernization there.

Hyperpure polycrystalline silicon from WACKER POLYSILICON is used for manufacturing wafers for the electronics and solar industries. To produce it, metallurgical-grade silicon is converted into liquid trichlorosilane, highly distilled and deposited in hyperpure form at 1,000 ° C.
General term used to describe compounds of organic molecules and silicon. According to their areas of application, silicones can be classified as fluids, resins or rubber grades. Silicones are characterized by a myriad of outstanding properties. Typical areas of application include construction, the electrical and electronics industries, shipping and transportation, textiles and paper coatings.
A polymer is a large molecule made up of smaller molecular units (monomers). It contains between 10,000 and 100,000 monomers. Polymers can be long or ball-shaped.
Silica, Pyrogenic
White, synthetic, amorphous silicon dioxide (SiO2) in powder form, made by flame hydrolysis of silicon compounds. Variously used as an additive for silicone rubber grades, sealants, surface coatings, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
After oxygen, silicon is the most common element in the earth’s crust. In nature, it occurs without exception in the form of compounds, chiefly silicon dioxide and silicates. Silicon is obtained through energy-intensive reaction of quartz sand with carbon and is the most important raw material in the electronics industry.
Binary system in which one component is finely dispersed in another. VINNAPAS® dispersions are vinyl-acetate-based copolymers and terpolymers in liquid form. They are mainly used as binders in the construction industry, e. g. for grouts, plasters and primers.
Dispersible Polymer Powders
Created by drying dispersions in spray or disc dryers. VINNAPAS® polymer powders are recommended as binders in the construction industry, e. g. for tile adhesives, self-leveling compounds and repair mortars. The powders improve adhesion, cohesion, flexibility and flexural strength, as well as water-retention and processing properties.