Wacker Chemie AG is expanding its existing production plants for dispersions and dispersible polymer powders in South Korea.
Investments will total around €60M and production is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2019.
With the Mayor of Ulsan Gi- Hyeon Kim and numerous customers in attendance, Wacker Executive Board member Dr Christian Hartel, head of Wacker Polymers Peter Summo and head of Wacker Korea Dal-Ho Cho celebrated the official start of construction on the major project during a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony.
The Group is building a new spray dryer for dispersible polymer powders at its Ulsan site, which will have a total capacity of 80,000t/yr.
The Munich-based chemicals company is also constructing an additional reactor for dispersions based on vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE), which are needed as the raw material for the spray dryer to produce dispersible polymer powders.
Ulsan’s plant complex, which covers the entire production chain from VAE dispersions to dispersible polymer powders, will be one of the largest of its kind in the world.
With the expansion, Wacker is meeting the increasing demand for its high-quality binders, which are particularly needed in the constantly growing construction industry in South Korea and Southeast Asia.
“Our existing production facilities in Ulsan provide the ideal setting for the expansion.
“With this new capacity, we will be able to support our customers right across Asia in a more targeted way by offering them products tailored to their specific requirements,” said Christian Hartel, the Wacker Executive Board member responsible for Asia, at the ground-breaking ceremony.
According to him, the expansion will also guarantee shorter delivery routes and times.
“We can see that our construction polymers, in particular, which make resource-efficient housebuilding possible, are in demand in this region like never before,” added Peter Summo, head of Wacker Polymers, during the festivities.
“With our investment, we are ensuring that we will be able to securely meet future market growth in the region, too.”
Wacker dispersions and dispersible polymer powders are needed in sectors such as construction, paints, coatings and adhesives, for example for formulating high-quality tile adhesives, cementitious waterproofing membranes, energy-saving external thermal insulation composite systems, and low-odor, low-emission interior paints.
They are also used in carpet applications, technical textiles and the coating of paper.
Caption: Groundbreaking at Ulsan: Christian Hartel (of Wacker’s Exec. Board, 7th from left), Peter Summo (Wacker Polymers’ President, 8th from left), Dal-Ho Cho (Wacker Korea’s Head, 6th from left) and Ki-Hyun Kim (Mayor of Ulsan, 9th from left) symbolically launch the site’s expansion (photo: Wacker Chemie AG)