MUNICH/BOGOTÁ – Wacker Chemie AG is expanding its presence in Latin America by opening a new technical center for construction applications and a new subsidiary in Bogotá, Colombia. The technical facility serves as a development and testing laboratory for dispersible polymer powders, which are needed as binders for the building industry. In addition to polymer construction materials, the new subsidiary also represents the company’s biotechnology and silicone divisions. By expanding its local expertise in development, applications technology and service, WACKER is able to optimally support local customers and business partners. It is further opening up the Andean region’s rapidly developing markets for high-quality construction polymers and chemical raw materials.

The reason for this increased commitment to the region is strong growth, particularly in the building industry. “Latin America is a promising market for WACKER. Demand for chemical raw materials, especially our dispersible polymer powders, has risen noticeably over recent years,” said David Wilhoit, head of Wacker Chemical Corp., the subsidiary responsible for the North and Latin American regions. “With the new subsidiary and technical center, we are further expanding our strong market position in the Andean region. This will allow us to optimally support our local customers and partners.”

The new technical center in Bogotá serves as a local research and development facility for polymer binders for construction applications. The focus is on formulations containing VINNAPAS® dispersible polymer powders, which are used in dry-mix mortars for tile adhesives or grouts, for example. The labs provide equipment for testing products under different climatic and environmental conditions. For supplementary analyses, WACKER’s global network of technical centers is also available for consultative support.

“The new technical center enables us to support our customers in tailoring their products to modern construction trends and local raw materials, helping them solve construction-chemical related challenges,” said Christoph Riemer, head of WACKER’s polymer powder business. “The transformation from conventional building materials and methods to high-quality systems using polymer powders is one of our key strategies. With the new lab, we are significantly contributing to the distribution of modern construction materials in the Andean region.”

The facility further houses a regional subsidiary that promotes products from the WACKER SILICONES, WACKER POLYMERS and WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS divisions to customers from Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru. Bundling sales, R&D laboratories and applications technology under one roof fosters closer teamwork between the sales and development teams and further enhances customer support in the region. This makes it easier for WACKER to respond quickly to specific requirements and to incorporate customer feedback.