German chemical firm Wacker Chemie AG recently inaugurated a new production line for silicone elastomers at its plant in Zhangjiagang, China that will increase the availability of high-consistency silicone rubber (HCR) in the Asia-Pacific region, a company press release announced Monday.
“Today’s event not only is another milestone in Wacker’s efforts to expand its operational footprint in China, but also shows our determination to further serve and develop local and regional markets,” Paul Lindblad, president of Wacker Greater China, said in a statement. “The new manufacturing line will contribute significantly to our silicone rubber production capacity. This will enable us to improve our service to customers and business partners, who are willing to grasp the opportunities in today’s ever-changing and increasingly sophisticated marketplace.”
Investing “a lower double digit million” figure in the new asset, Wacker’s new facility has an annual capacity of “several thousand metric tons,” according to the Munich-based firm. A range of new technology was installed on the line, including mixing and screening equipment and kneaders used to produce high quality grades of HCR.
“High consistency rubbers are widely used, and we expect them to continue on their growth path,” said Christian Gimber, vice president of Engineering Silicones, in the release. “Today, the country [China] is the single largest market for silicone elastomers in the world.”
Wacker said the new plant in Zhangjiagang will help the company to shorten lead times and accelerate its response to market demands.