Wacker has inaugurated a new production line for silicone elastomers at its Zhangjiagang site in China, the company announced in a statement June 10. The new line represents a lower double digit million investment and will help support Wacker’s future growth path in China as well as improve the availability of high consistency silicone rubber (HCR) in the Asia-Pacific region.
The new facility, equipped with the sophisticated kneaders essential for manufacturing high-quality HCR grades, has an annual capacity of several thousand metric tons. Next to new mixing and screening equipment, Wacker has also installed a state-of-the-art waste treatment process. The new production line will enable shorter lead times, speed up market response, and improve overall customer experience.
Calling the opening a milestone in Wacker’s efforts to expand its operational footprint in China, Paul Lindblad, President of Wacker Greater China, said the expansion measure underscores Wacker’s commitment and technological leadership in the silicone rubber industry, showing “our determination to further serve and develop local and regional markets.”
Over the past few decades, demand for solid silicone elastomers has grown quickly, especially in China. According to Christian Gimber, Vice President of Engineering Silicones, China is today the country is the single largest market for silicone elastomers in the world.” Wacker’s new production line is located in a new building complex covering 2,000 square meters.
Wacker has been operating its own subsidiary in Greater China for over 25 years, and currently operates seven sales offices in all the country’s key economic regions, two technical centres and three production sites there. The Group produces silicones and polymers in Zhangjiagang and Nanjing. Both sites are located in Jiangsu province. The plants are the largest of their kind in China. In 2018, Wacker generated sales of over €1 billion in the Greater China region, including Taiwan.