The WACKER Group’s Prospects

Based on our assumptions, we expect the global economy to grow in 2020. Most momentum will come from emerging markets in Asia, with stable growth expected in the USA. Growth rates will remain low in Europe.

Investment Spending and Production

As in 2019, our capital expenditures in 2020 will concentrate on production plants for intermediates and downstream products. At around €350 million, capital expenditures will be on par with last year and below the level of depreciation /amortization. WACKER SILICONES will be the focus of investments, accounting for around 50 percent. Spending there will concentrate on intermediate and downstream plants in Burghausen and Nünchritz (Germany). In the course of the year, WACKER POLYMERS will complete a dispersion reactor under construction in Ulsan (South Korea).

Facility Start-Ups in 2020












Ulsan, South Korea


VAE dispersion reactor



Burghausen, Germany


Gas turbine



Future Products and Services

WACKER SILICONES is leveraging diverse applications in the construction, electronics, automotive and personal care industries. In the construction sector, there are new opportunities for -modified hybrid , e.g. as sealants and adhesives, and in wear-resistant protective coatings for concrete floors. Plenty of potential is offered by our new, silane-based cement additives. They save energy during the production of cement, improve its storage stability, and increase the quality and durability of concrete. To improve concrete formulations, WACKER maintains special competence centers in China and India, both key growth regions. We are benefiting from rising demand for specialty silanes in microelectronics and for products in the consumer goods sector, with the latter products increasingly being manufactured using renewable raw materials. Thermally conductive silicone are becoming an indispensable material for electromobility, where their cooling properties make them an important thermal-management component of state-of-the-art battery cells. In the automotive, entertainment and medical industries, our new electroactive silicone laminates are supporting the development of innovative touchscreens.

WACKER POLYMERS is intensifying its activities in polymeric binders for sophisticated coating and construction applications. A significant trend here is growing customer demand for sustainable, environmentally compatible solutions. WACKER POLYMERS is actively seizing these market opportunities and developing corresponding product lines. For example, the division is able to offer a commercial-scale line of VAE (vinyl acetate-) copolymer incorporating renewable raw materials.

For WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS, the pharma and food markets currently offer growth potential. The pharma market is steadily shifting toward bioengineered medicines. Our acquisition of the Amsterdam production site means we have new capacity for continued growth as a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). The division sees additional growth potential in biologics, vaccines and live microbial products – all areas in which the Amsterdam site is a certified producer. In the food market, we are supporting the “healthy eating” trend – for example, with the innovative approach of complexing the antioxidant curcumin with to produce vegetable-based dietary supplements. In the vegan sector, our cyclodextrins offer a solution for egg-free baked goods.

In the coming years, demand for high-quality will rise further. In particular, demand is growing constantly for monocrystalline cells, which are highly efficient and generate more electricity from the same amount of sunlight. WACKER occupies a strong position here. With our hyperpure polysilicon, we are ideally placed to supply the fast-growing segment for monocrystalline cells. In addition, we are increasing our share of high-quality polysilicon for semiconductors.

Research and Development

The Group’s research and development work remains focused on key strategic projects. WACKER intends to spend 12 percent of its R&D budget on these projects in 2020 (2019: 10 percent). Our R&D work is prioritizing the highly promising fields of energy, electronics, automotive engineering, medical technology, consumer care, and construction applications. One area of special emphasis is energy storage and renewable-energy generation.


WACKER’s ongoing digitalization program is progressing with a wide range of individual projects. Spanning every company sector, the projects aim to make workflows and processes leaner and more efficient.


We expect employee numbers to decline in 2020. Reducing the headcount is part of the Shape the Future restructuring and efficiency program. The focus is on getting by with fewer jobs in indirect, functional departments.


WACKER’s sustainability goals for the next few years are described in the Non-Financial Report. In 2020, the regional focus of WACKER’s sustainability management activities will be on Asia, where we will examine environmental, health and safety (EHS) aspects at individual sites.

The new gas turbine installed in the at the Burghausen site will help reduce carbon dioxide substantially compared with the old turbine, while producing the same amount of electricity.

Silanes are used as monomers for the synthesis of siloxanes or sold directly as reagents or raw materials. Typical applications include surface treatment, agents (medically active substances) in pharmaceutical synthesis, and coupling agents for coatings.
A polymer is a large molecule made up of smaller molecular units (monomers). It contains between 10,000 and 100,000 monomers. Polymers can be long or ball-shaped.
General term used to describe compounds of organic molecules and silicon. According to their areas of application, silicones can be classified as fluids, resins or rubber grades. Silicones are characterized by a myriad of outstanding properties. Typical areas of application include construction, the electrical and electronics industries, shipping and transportation, textiles and paper coatings.
Polymers that exhibit almost perfectly elastic behavior, i.e. they deform when acted upon by an external force and return to their exact original shape when the force is removed. While the duration of the force has no effect on perfectly elastic behavior, the temperature does.
A colorless, slightly sweet-smelling gas that, under normal conditions, is lighter than air. It is needed as a chemical starting product for a great many synthetic materials, including polyethylene and polystyrene. It is used to make products for the household, agricultural, automotive and construction sectors, among others.
Binary system in which one solid component is finely dispersed in another. VINNAPAS® dispersions are vinyl-acetate-based copolymers and terpolymers in liquid form. They are mainly used as binders in the construction industry, e.g. for grouts, plasters and primers.
Cyclodextrins belong to the family of cyclic oligosaccharides (i.e. ring-shaped sugar molecules). They are able to encapsulate foreign substances such as fragrances and to release active ingredients at a controlled rate. WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS produces and markets cyclodextrins.
Hyperpure polycrystalline silicon from WACKER POLYSILICON is used for manufacturing wafers for the electronics and solar industries. To produce it, metallurgical-grade silicon is converted into liquid trichlorosilane, highly distilled and deposited in hyperpure form at 1,000 °C.
Biotech processes use living cells or enzymes to transform or produce substances. Depending on the application, a distinction is made between red, green and white biotechnology. Red biotechnology: medical and pharmaceutical applications. Green biotechnology: agricultural applications. White biotechnology: biotech-based products and industrial processes, e.g. in the chemical, textile and food industries.
Combined Heat and Power Plant
Combined heat and power (CHP) plants generate both electricity and useful heat. This system can be much more efficient at using the input energy (e.g. fuel oil or natural gas) than are conventional systems with separate facilities. Because primary energy is conserved, CHP plants emit significantly less carbon dioxide than conventional power plants.
Substance outputs, noise, vibrations, light, heat or radiation emitted into the environment by an industrial plant.

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