MUNICH, Germany/SEOUL, South Korea – WACKER, the Munich-based chemicals group, has successfully completed the expansion and relocation of its technical laboratories and offices in South Korea and inaugurated the upgraded technical center, with integrated training facility, near Seoul, South Korea. Additionally, Wacker Chemie AG announced it is expanding its Chinese polymer activities by investing around EUR 40 million in building two new production facilities at its Nanjing site in China. 

The regional competence center in South Korea now houses, under a single roof, both research and development (R&D), applications technology, and a facility for basic and advanced training in silicones and polymers applications. A new silicone laboratory has been built to research, in particular, high-tech products for the electronics industry, while the technical center for polymeric binders will concentrate primarily on applications for construction chemicals. The integrated WACKER ACADEMY training facility will additionally offer an ideal platform for market-specific networking among customers, distribution partners and WACKER specialists. The Korea technical center will help to ensure an optimum supply of high-quality silicone and polymer products for the fast-growing markets in the region. 

The expanded technical center is located in Pangyo Techno Valley in a suburb Seoul. Occupying an area of more than 3,600 square meters, the site houses the new offices of Wacker Chemicals Korea Inc., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary, and the R&D laboratories for silicone and polymer applications. Bundling sales forces, R&D labs and applications technology under one roof will foster closer teamwork between the sales and development teams and thus optimize customer support in the region. The expanded technical center for polymers will concentrate on formulations for dispersible polymer powders and dispersions for modern building applications, e.g. as binders in mortars for energy-saving external thermal insulation composite systems or for low-odor and low-emissions coatings. 

Wacker Chemie AG announced that it is expanding its Chinese polymer activities by investing around EUR 40 million in building two new production facilities at its Nanjing site. As announced by the Munich-based chemical group, it is expanding the site’s existing facilities for vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions by adding a new reactor with an annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons. This measure will double Nanjing’s VAE dispersion capacity to approximately 120,000 metric tons per year, making the complex one of the biggest of its kind in China. The new reactor is scheduled to come on stream in mid-2013. At Nanjing, WACKER is also building a new plant to produce polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) solid resins with an annual capacity of 20,000 metric tons. This plant is due for completion in early 2013. 

The new production facilities will give WACKER sufficient long-term capacity to meet the strong demand for VAE dispersions and PVAc solid resins in the Asia-Pacific region. As a result, it will be able to continue offering its customers in the region consistently high delivery reliability and product quality in the years ahead. The main application fields for VAE dispersions lie in construction, coatings and adhesives. PVAc solid resins are used in industrial applications and to manufacture gumbase.