MUNICH—Wacker Chemie A.G. opened a new production site for silicone elastomers in South Korea with an $18.3 million investment.
Wacker is significantly expanding its production with the new plant based in Jincheon, South Korea, located about 60 miles southeast of Seoul, according to a company release. The site includes a 140,000-sq.-ft. production building.
The production lines have been equipped with manufacturing technology that enables fully automatic production processes, according to the release. Hyperpure silicones are produced and packaged in a dedicated cleanroom.
Silicone sealants for the construction industry and specialty silicone elastomers for electronic applications will be manufactured in separate facilities.
Wacker has produced silicone sealants in Jincheon since 2010 and also has manufactured specialty silicone elastomers there for the electronics industry since 2012. Because of strong growth in demand for silicones, production was stretched to its limits, said Auguste Willems, executive board member for Wacker. Without enough room to expand within the existing facilities, Wacker moved sites.
The new plant is four times as large as the old footprint, and provides enough space for future capacity expansions, Willems said.
Asia is one of the group's most important sales regions, generating about 40 percent of its sales, Christian Hartel, executive board member for Wacker, said at the opening ceremony. The new site allows Wacker to expand its position in the region over the long term.