Wacker China turns 30; accounts for 30% group sales

Wacker China turns 30; accounts for 30% group salesGerman chemicals firm Wacker recently held a grand ceremony in Shanghai to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its subsidiary in China. The ceremony was attended by customers, authority representatives and long-standing business partners.

Wacker started building its presence in China by opening its first offices in 1993. Today, the group operates an extensive network of production sites, R&D and service centres.

In 2022, Wacker generated around EUR2.5 billion in China, which corresponds to approximately 30% of group sales.

Addressing the guests, president and Wacker CEO Christian Hartel emphasised the importance of the region. “China is the world’s largest chemical market and an important growth driver for the global economy. The country offers a wide range of development opportunities which we at Wacker intend to leverage continuously.”

In May, Wacker says it ramped up new production facilities for dispersions and dispersible polymer powders in Nanjing. In September, the group also announced the expansion of several new production lines for manufacturing functional silicone fluids, silicone emulsions and silicone elastomer gels at its Zhangjiagang site.

“This is our largest single investment since the site went into operation”, Hartel said. “Over the past 30 years, we invested nearly EUR1 billion in production, in customer and technical service and in research in China.”

Wacker China has over 1,700 employees and operates a total of four production sites, three technical centres, eight sales offices and an academy for training purposes.

Alvin Hu, President of Wacker China, briefly reviewed the company’s 30 year journey in China. “Our track record is impressive: equipped with a comprehensive network of integrated production sites, four joint ventures, R&D and technical service centres as well as several sales offices we are well positioned strategically, especially with a view to key growth topics.” As an example, Hu referred to the burgeoning electrification of vehicles in China. “This will benefit our silicone business, as Wacker’s high performance silicones are essential for the development and production of electric vehicles.”

In order to better serve customer needs and market trends in China, Wacker operates several R&D centres in addition to its local production network.

In 2000, the group opened its first regional technical application centre in Shanghai. In 2012, the centre went into use, equipped with multiple application and R&D labs for developing tailor-made products that meet regional needs and serve multiple industries including construction, coatings, adhesives, electronics, automobile and personal care. The facility also operates global competence centres for consumer care, cement and concrete, e-mobility and thermal interface materials.

Wacker’s production network in China currently includes a total of four sites. At its fully integrated Zhangjiagang production site,

It manufactures pyrogenic silica and a wide range of down-stream silicone products for the Asian market.

The company’s Nanjing site produces dispersions, dispersible polymer powders and polyvinyl acetate solid resins for the construction, adhesives and coatings industries.

The Shunde site manufactures silicone emulsions and silicone-based process auxiliaries for textiles, leather and fibre applications.

In 2022, Wacker acquired a 60% stake in Sico Performance Material (Shandong) Co., Ltd. Its plant in Jining is now Wacker’s second largest silicone production site in China. It provides organofunctional silane specialties for adhesives, sealants, construction chemicals, coatings and composites.