In 2011, WACKER’s investment activities continued to center on expanding production capacities for polysilicon. Investments in 2011 increased against 2010 to €981.2 million (2010: €695.1 million). The most important investment projects are the Poly 9 expansion stage in Nünchritz and the establishment of a polysilicon site in Tennessee in the USA (Poly 11). In 2011, these two projects involved a total of €500 million in additions to property, plant and equipment.
We commissioned an additional pyrogenic-silica (HDK®) production facility at our Zhangjiagang site in China. The total investment at this site was about €15 million in 2011. WACKER also invested in a production plant for hyperpure silicone elastomers for the medical, LED and electronics industry in Burghausen and in a new compounding plant for silicone elastomers in India. Siltronic expanded its production capacities for epitaxial wafers at Burghausen.
WACKER invested €53.3 million in joint ventures and associates. Funds mainly went into the expansion of the 300 mm wafer joint venture with Samsung Electronics in Singapore.
In early July 2011, WACKER SILICONES sold its business in silicone-based release agents for tire manufacturing to Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH. The purchase price was €10.4 million. Rhein Chemie, a subsidiary of Lanxess AG, acquired the rights to the product formulas, and to the existing customer contracts and inventories for this business. The annual revenue from tire release agents in 2010 was in the mid-single-digit million euro range.
In December 2011, Wacker Chemie AG’s Executive Board resolved to close Siltronic’s Hikari (Japan) production site by mid-2012. Siltronic produced 200 mm silicon wafers for the semiconductor industry there. The site closure incurs expenditures of about €65 million, which were recognized as obligations. Around 500 employees are affected by the closure. The goal is to implement the job cuts in as socially responsible a manner as possible, including severance payments and help in searching for new jobs.