Mixed Trends in Divisional Production Output

In 2012, the changes in production volumes varied across the individual business divisions. While output was higher at the chemical divisions and WACKER POLYSILICON, Siltronic saw declines. Capacity utilization at the chemical divisions was in excess of 80 percent. There were no unplanned facility shutdowns of any significance. Combined production output at all divisions rose, while production costs were up 5 percent. Maintenance costs were at prior-year levels and totaled €355 million.

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Plant-Capacity Utilization in 2012






Plant Utilization
















Capital expenditure on new manufacturing plants amounted to €975 million in 2012, with most funds flowing into the expansion of our polysilicon facilities. Expansion stage 9 at the Nünchritz site is now fully operational. In the US state of Tennessee, the construction of a new polysilicon site has been underway since April 2011.

We are building two new plants for WACKER POLYMERS and WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS at our Nanjing site in China. At WACKER POLYMERS, we are adding a new reactor with an annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons to the existing production facilities for vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions. WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS will have a new polyvinyl acetate solid resins plant built at Nanjing, with an annual capacity of 20,000 metric tons. Dispersion capacity was also expanded at our production site in Ulsan (South Korea), by 40,000 metric tons, and at our American site in Calvert City, by 30,000 tons. In 2012, capital expenditures on these four projects totaled €38.3 million.

As announced in December 2011, Siltronic closed its production plant for 200 mm silicon wafers at Hikari (Japan) in mid-2012. The 150 mm wafer production line at Portland was shut down in the third quarter. Both measures have benefited capacity utilization at the remaining facilities for silicon-wafer diameters below 300 mm. We have also stopped making our own acetic acid at Burghausen, now procuring the quantities we need.

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Key Start-Ups


















Poly 9 expansion stage





VAE dispersions





Laboratory buildings





Polysilicon facilities





Compounding plant



Corporate Engineering is responsible for implementing all investment projects at WACKER. Continued internationalization, however, makes it increasingly important to set up local on-site project teams. In China, WACKER has a dedicated planning group that handles small and mid-sized projects independently. We plan to do the same in the USA, where we currently have 20 US employees working on constructing the new polysilicon site in Tennessee.

Productivity Program Targets Lower Raw-Material Consumption and Higher Energy Efficiency

High productivity throughout the supply chain is a key to WACKER’s success. WACKER boosts productivity along the entire supply chain via its Wacker Operating System (WOS) program. Our goal is to continue to reduce specific operating costs every year. 2012 saw the processing of more than 500 projects at our operating divisions and corporate departments. Almost 200 of these related to cost savings in raw materials and energy.

Productivity Projects According to Focus

Productivity Projects According to Focus (bar chart)

During the year under review, our WOS Academy (founded in 2009) trained some 100 employees in the application of new productivity methods, such as Six Sigma.