Wacker chem division to see 2012 growth despite high energy costs

14 March 2012 15:41  [Source: ICIS news]

MUNICH (ICIS)--Wacker Chemie expects further growth in 2012 for its chemical division, despite raw material and energy costs remaining high, it said on Wednesday.

CEO Rudolf Staudigl said the German producer's silicones and polymer businesses are expected to improve in 2012, especially with a growing Asian market, even though the eurozone debt crisis is still unresolved and high energy and raw material costs are likely to continue. 

“At our silicones division, we are benefiting from additional business, especially from Asia. The rising living standards there are fuelling demand for high-quality products containing silicones,” he said.

“Consequently, a key strategic focus is to expand our specialty silicones business – for medical technology, for example.”

Looking at Wacker’s polymer business, Staudigl said the company expects higher prices and sales volumes in 2012.

“On the construction-applications front, growth is being driven by Asian and South American markets. Dispersions are experiencing additional demand, generated especially by paper and carpet manufacturers in the US,” he added.

Wacker is also expecting sales revenue growth in 2012 for its biosolutions segment.

To meet growth expectations in this segment, and also the company’s polymers division, it is building two new production plants in Nanjing, China. The total investment for the two plants amounts to €40m ($53m).

“Our existing facilities for dispersions are being expanded by a new reactor with an output of 60,000 tonnes/year. This will double our dispersions capacity in China to around 120,000 tonnes/year,” the CEO said.

“At Nanjing, we are also building a new plant to produce polyvinyl acetate solid resins, with a capacity of 20,000 tonnes/year,” Staudigl added.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Leigh Stringer
+44 208 652 3214

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