Key Events Affecting Business Performance
After shutting down polysilicon production at our site in Charleston, Tennessee (USA) in September 2017, we gradually resumed production in May 2018, reaching full production capacity in December.
In April 2018, WACKER acquired a production site in Amsterdam (Netherlands) for biopharmaceuticals from SynCo Bio Partners Luxembourg S. à. r. l. On acquiring the site, WACKER also took over the associated business operations. The two fermentation lines there have a total capacity some 1,800 liters. As a result, WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS’ total capacity has doubled. Through the acquisition, WACKER aims to continue strengthening its position as a contract manufacturer of biopharmaceuticals.
WACKER did not divest any business fields or product business in 2018.
Capital expenditures increased year over year, as planned. They amounted to €460.9 million in the reporting year (2017: €326.8 million).
The focus of WACKER’s investing activities was on our three chemical divisions, with several projects in different countries. In 2018, our Charleston production site in Tennessee (USA) continued construction work on a pyrogenic-silica facility. This project alone accounted for some €55 million. In Holla, Norway, we are expanding production facilities for silicon metal. Investment there was around €45 million in 2018. In Ulsan, South Korea, we are building new production facilities for dispersions and dispersible polymer powders. About €30 million of the project’s total budget of some €65 million was spent in the reporting year. In León, Spain, we completed the modernization of a large-scale fermentation plant. The investment in 2018 for this project amounted to about €8 million. Additionally, WACKER invested in a series of small- and medium-scale projects for intermediates and downstream products, and in infrastructure measures, especially at our fully integrated sites in Burghausen and Nünchritz.