Wacker starts up silicone rubber line in China

German chemicals maker Wacker has inaugurated a new production line for silicone elastomers at its Zhangjiagang site in China. With an annual capacity of several thousand tonnes, the facility will help support Wacker’s future growth path in China and improve the availability of high consistency silicone rubber (HCR) in the Asia-Pacific region.

Wacker’s new production line is located in a new building complex covering 2,000 sq m.

Wacker says the plant’s cutting-edge equipment includes world-class kneaders that are the largest of their kind in the industry and which are essential for manufacturing high quality HCR grades. The plant’s mixing and screening equipment and the waste treatment process are also setting industry standards in terms of productivity and sustainability, it says. The new production line will enable shorter lead times, speed up market response, and improve overall customer experience.

The expansion measure is in a lower double digit million Investment, according to Wacker.

“Today’s event not only is another milestone in Wacker’s efforts to expand its operational footprint in China, but also shows our determination to further serve and develop local and regional markets,” said Paul Lindblad, President of Wacker Greater China, at the inauguration ceremony.

The expansion of Wacker’s silicone elastomer plant is yet another example of the company’s ongoing investments into its Chinese facilities.

“The new manufacturing line will contribute significantly to our silicone rubber production capacity. This will enable us to improve our service to customers and business partners, who are willing to grasp the opportunities in today’s everchanging and increasingly sophisticated marketplace”, Lindblad said.

Christian Gimber, Vice President of Engineering Silicones, emphasised the growing need for silicone specialties and high quality silicone rubber. “High consistency rubbers are widely used, and we expect them to continue on their growth path,” he said. Over the last decades, the demand for solid silicone elastomers has grown quickly, especially in China. “Today, the country is the single largest market for silicone elastomers in the world.”