ADRIAN, MI/CHARLESTON, TN – Wacker Chemie AG, the Munich-based chemical group, officially started construction on its HDK® pyrogenic silica plant, which is located adjacent to WACKER’s Charleston, Tennessee, polysilicon plant. The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by representatives from politics, business and local government. WACKER Executive Board Member Auguste Willems, State of Tennessee dignitaries and local officials broke ground for the new plant. Annual capacity of the new facility will be 13,000 metric tons, and completion is scheduled for the first half of 2019.

“With the USA being the second-largest chemical market, the Charleston, Tennessee, HDK pyrogenic silica plant will enable WACKER to keep pace with growing demand for this indispensable product,” said Willems. “This new facility is a key component of Charleston’s supply chain. It is the next step toward expanding Charleston into a fully integrated silicon site,” he explained.

The main by-product of polysilicon manufacturing is tetrachlorosilane. This either has to be converted and fed back into the production loop, or it can be used to create added value by being further processed into HDK. By integrating the polysilicon and HDK production systems, WACKER achieves optimum flexibility in reprocessing tetrachlorosilane into a marketable product.

WACKER produces HDK pyrogenic silica at sites in Burghausen and Nunchritz, Germany, and in Zhangjigang, China. The company is the world’s third-largest producer in this sector.