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Wacker builds new liquid resins unit at site near Dresden

June 04/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- German chemical producer Wacker has begun building a new EUR30m liquid resins facility at its Nunchritz site near Dresden, Saxony, said the company.

This unit will supply key upstream products for formulating silicone-based building-protection agents and binders for exterior paints and industrial coatings. At the moment, only Wacker Burghausen site produces these substances. Scheduled to go on stream at the end of 2022, the new unit will close important material loops and so further increase the cost-effectiveness of Wacker integrated production system. Capital spending amounts to some EUR30 million.

WACKER uses silanes and liquid resins to formulate several specialty silicone grades: building-protection agents and concrete-protection creams contain these kinds of hydrophobic and hence water-repellent active ingredients, as do binders for exterior paints, corrosion-resistant protective coatings and heat-resistant powder paints. The company currently produces these additives at its liquid resins plant in Burghausen, where side-stream products resulting from the manufacture of silicones react with alcohol to become silanes and liquid resins. Our Burghausen and Nunchritz sites process these substances into silicone products for construction and coating applications.

WACKER now plans to manufacture these formulation ingredients in Nunchritz too. The foundations for a new liquid resins unit are now being laid in the northern part of the site. This unit will be able to process products obtained from the synthesis of methylchlorosilanes. The decision to extend the production of silanes and liquid resins to Nunchritz enables us to respond with even greater flexibility to customer needs, says WACKERs Executive Board member Auguste Willems.

The investment benefits both the Nunchritz site and the integrated production system in Burghausen. Due to high demand for building-protection agents and coatings the liquid resins plant in Burghausen has been running at full capacity. "The new unit in Nunchritz closes material loops and increases the availability of key intermediates. This enhances our supply security throughout our integrated production system, explains Willems. The new setup offers us far more opportunities for supporting current market developments and for establishing production lines for new products if justified by demand."

In recent years, a healthy construction sector and demand for high-quality industrial coatings have meant that more and more silicone-based construction materials and binders need to be supplied. Our specialties business is highly profitable, says Dr. Robert Gnann, head of WACKERs silicones division. It is still too early to talk about capacity expansions exceeding this measure. But one thing is certain: the investment is an important basis for future growth. The expansion shows that we are determined to strengthen and further expand our market position in the building-protection and coating sectors."

The liquid resins plant is located on the site of a former tank farm not far from where a hybrid polymer facility is under construction. As already announced, this facility will produce silane-terminated hybrid polymer binders for high-performance adhesives starting late next year.

Details about capacities in terms of tonnes or pounds per year were not disclosed.

As per MRC, Wacker Chemie AG is moving forward with Shape the Future, its efficiency program initiated last November. The Munich-based chemical company has recenly announced that company management and employee representatives have agreed on a framework for the planned job cutbacks.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 241,030 tonnes in January 2021 versus 217,890 tonnes a year earlier. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 141,870 tonnes in January 2021 versus 123,520 tonnes a year earlier. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:PP, PE, ethylene, propylene, Wacker, Wacker Chemie.
Category:General News
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