In Singapore, a new laboratory for silicone elastomers has been established. And in a joint move, the firm said labs for silicones and polymeric binders dedicated to construction applications have been expanded and newly furnished.
Wacker said the lab space has more than doubled as part of the expansion. The center now spans more than 16,000 square feet under one roof that includes customer development, applications technology and a training facility for silicone and polymer applications.
The regional competence center will provide technical support in the electronics, personal care, health care, textile, automotive, coatings and construction industries, Wacker said. The firm cited strong economic development in Southeast Asia as a reason for investment, highlighting electronics and construction as primary drivers.
Financial terms were not disclosed. Wacker has had a presence in the region for about 30 years. It established Wacker Chemicals (South Asia) Pte. Ltd. in 1984 and coordinates regional sales. The firm also operates technical centers in Australia, China, India and South Korea, with 22 technical centers worldwide.
Wacker's employment has more than doubled in the last few years. The firm said more than 80 work in the Southeast Asia region and about 20 of them are employed at the Singapore center.
“Southeast Asia is an important growth market for Wacker,” Executive Board Member Christian Hardel said during the opening ceremony. “Our sales in the region have grown significantly over the recent years, and we see further potential for strong future growth in the region. The expanded facility will strengthen our position as one of the leading silicones and polymers manufacturers in Southeast Asia and provides a basis for future growth.”
Patrick de Wolf, managing director of Wacker Southeast Asia, said in an email that building activity is consistently on the rise. By 2025, global construction is estimated to grow by more than 70 percent to $15 trillion, with a strong focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
He cited increasing economic growth and wealth along with rising populations, which results in more urbanization, infrastructure investment and residential building activities.
The executive added that the coatings and construction industries also make high demands.
“Products must offer high efficiency, quality and performance while at the same time being cost-efficient and energy-saving, easy to process and complying with environmental and safety standards,” de Wolf wrote. “As a result, the popularity of Wacker's dispersions and dispersible polymer powders as well as construction silicones is increasing steadily, in particular as Wacker offers tailor-made solutions for the Asian markets.”