Siltronic AG (a wholly-owned WACKER subsidiary) places strategic importance on remaining a technology leader. This is why we continue investing in product developments and quality-boosting measures that uphold the division’s high standards. Siltronic’s wafer production focuses on the 300 mm segment, where it is in a strong position, thanks to its new Singapore-based 300 mm wafer fab – a Siltronic/Samsung joint venture – and expansion of 300 mm production in Germany. Another strategic aim at Siltronic is to continue reducing and adjusting fixed costs so as to respond even more effectively to semiconductor-sector demand fluctuations.
Thanks to diverse application prospects, we see further growth opportunities for WACKER SILICONES. Silicon chemistry is still relatively recent and has huge development potential. There is still plenty of scope for incorporating fascinating property profiles into our end products. Moreover, considerable development potential lies in combining silicon and carbon chemistries, whose properties can form a perfect complement. A strategy focus is to further bolster the division’s position as a solution provider – not just by marketing products and materials, but also tailoring those product solutions to each customer’s needs. A further strategic aim is to expand WACKER’s integrated production system in key markets. The Zhangjiagang production site in China – our most promising market – is expected to be fully commissioned in 2010.
Having successfully acquired Air Products Polymers’ business in 2008, WACKER POLYMERS met a major strategic goal. In fiscal 2009, we will be the only company to offer a complete supply chain in the dispersions and dispersible-polymer-powder markets of Europe, the Americas and Asia. WACKER intends to strengthen its position in the attractive vinyl acetate/ethylene copolymer segment, where it aims to be a key supplier. We plan to boost our market share of construction-sector dispersible polymer powders and provide greater added value for customers via specific product properties. To do so, we are expanding our network of technical centers worldwide.
WACKER POLYSILICON focuses on rapidly expanding production capacities for the electronic and solar industries. In October 2008, WACKER therefore decided to build a new polysilicon production plant with an annual nominal capacity of 10,000 metric tons in Nünchritz (Germany). Thanks to its Nünchritz expansion program, we can reach a total annual nominal capacity of 35,500 metric tons by year-end 2011, thereby further strengthening WACKER’s market position. As in our other divisions, WACKER POLYSILICON pursues a policy of boosting its supply chain. By founding a joint venture with SCHOTT Solar, we achieved vertical integration within the solar industry. We are therefore not only a pure polysilicon supplier, but also a manufacturer of ingots and multicrystalline solar wafers.
Having restructured its product portfolio, WACKER FINE CHEMICALS now concentrates on the pharmaceutical and food sectors. In coming years, WACKER intends to press ahead with expansion into white biotechnology (industrial production) and its red counterpart (pharmaceuticals), aiming at annual double-digit growth. With its two bioengineered product groups – cyclodextrins and cysteine (white biotechnology) – WACKER, according to in-house research, already enjoys a large market share. Further investments aim to spur growth in these markets. Thanks to our unique, E.coli -based protein secretion technology, contract manufacturing of pharmaceutical proteins (red biotechnology) got off to a good start. We are striving for annual double-digit growth in this field, too.