Milestones in 2012

March 2

South Korea: Technical Center under One New Roof

WACKER opened its expanded technical center near Seoul in South Korea. This regional competence center combines R&D, technical support and training for silicone and polymer applications under one roof. The new silicone laboratory focuses on high-tech products for the electronics industry, while the technical center for polymeric binders will concentrate on construction-chemical applications. The affiliated WACKER ACADEMY training center offers a platform for knowledge transfer among customers, distributors and WACKER specialists.

March 5

Nanjing Site Expanded

WACKER invested around €40 million in two new production facilities at its Nanjing site, slated to start operation in mid-2013. The site’s existing facilities for producing vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions were expanded by the addition of a new reactor with an annual output of 60,000 metric tons. It will double capacity for VAE dispersions at Nanjing to approx. 120,000 metric tons per year. The plant complex is one of the biggest of its kind in China. At the Nanjing site, WACKER is building a plant for production of polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) solid resins with an annual capacity of 20,000 metric tons.

April 27

Nünchritz: Poly 9 Starts Operation

At Nünchritz (Saxony), production of hyperpure polycrystalline silicon was officially launched in a ceremony attended by Saxony’s minister president Stanislaw Tillich and federal minister Thomas de Maizière. Overall, WACKER invested some €900 million in the facilities, creating more than 500 new jobs in the process. Start-up at the facilities, with a nominal capacity of approx. 15,000 annual metric tons, was completed in early 2012. Around 1,400 employees work at the Nünchritz plant, one of the world’s largest and most modern production sites for silicones and hyperpure polysilicon.

July 12

Innovation Award for Dispersions

Three WACKER researchers received the Alexander Wacker Innovation Award for novel dispersions based on vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymers. These innovative products serve as coating materials, and, within a short time, have conquered the North American market for paper applications. These kinds of coatings ensure that the print on cardboard packaging is particularly durable and vividly colored. Compared to the acrylate-based products used up to now, the new VINNAPAS® EF 101 and EF 575 dispersions give customers an alternative technology offering significant cost advantages.

July 19

500 Million Cartridges Produced

Half a billion cartridges filled with adhesives and sealants have been made at the Nünchritz, Saxony site since WACKER started production there in 1998. The first silicone sealant was produced in the mid-1960s at VEB Chemiewerk Nünchritz, as the chemical plant was called at the time. Most customer orders for adhesives and sealants produced at the site are filled directly into cartridges bearing the customer’s own labels, and delivered ready for sale.

September 24

Ulsan: Production Capacities Doubled

At its Ulsan site in South Korea, WACKER is building a new facility for production of vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions with an annual capacity of 40,000 metric tons, nearly doubling its total capacity for VAE dispersions there. Scheduled to officially start up in February 2013, the production complex is one of the biggest of its kind in South Korea. The expansion allows WACKER to meet increasing demand for high-quality VAE dispersions, especially in emerging markets in Southeast Asia. The Group invested around €10 million in the project.

October 24

Polysilicon Production in the US to Start in 2015

WACKER deferred the launch of polysilicon production at its Charleston site (Tennessee, USA) until mid-2015. This decision was based on altered solar-market conditions and current polysilicon overcapacity. At the moment, 280 or so employees continue construction work, begun in early April 2011, in order to complete the project on time. WACKER is adapting its construction schedule and recruiting efforts to the new production start-up date.

December 14

New Chinese Headquarters Opened

WACKER opened its new company headquarters for the Greater China region (mainland China and Taiwan). The Shanghai Center, which occupies some 10,000 square meters, features offices for marketing, sales and administrative functions along with laboratories for R&D and applications technology. Applications range from dry-mix mortars and exterior insulation and finish systems for construction purposes, to paints and coatings, through to products for the automotive, cosmetics and textile sectors. WACKER has been conducting business in China through its own branch office for 20 years.