Industry, Logistics & Shipping

Wacker breaks ground on new silicone site in Czech Republic

Wacker Chemie AG is strengthening its strategic focus on the manufacture of silicone specialties by building a new production site in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. 
The chemical company, together with project partners and representatives of the city and region's authorities, symbolically has broken ground on the new plant. 
Wacker will produce room-temperature-curing high-performance silicones in Karlovy Vary from the end of 2025 and high-temperature-curing solid silicones from 2028. Such silicones will be used in important future technologies such as electromobility, the health and medical technology sector and in network expansion. 
The first expansion phase will create up to 200 new jobs in Karlovy Vary. By establishing a new site for silicone specialties, the Wacker Group is once again expanding its position as a solution provider for customers in important key industries.
Groundbreaking Karlovy Vary
Wacker Board Member Christian Kirsten, Panattoni Regional Director Pavel Sovička, Accolade Development Manager Jiří Stránský, Mayor of the City of Karlovy Vary Andrea Pfeffer Ferklová and Deputy Governor of the Karlovy Vary Region Vojtěch Franta took part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new production site in Karlovy Vary.
"Karlsbad will be a new and important pillar for our silicone activities in Europe and will strengthen our position as a leading manufacturer of silicone specialties. With today's groundbreaking ceremony for our new production site, we have reached a first milestone," said Kirsten in front of guests from politics and business. "Our silicone rubbers are in demand in all important growth markets. As a silicone specialist, we can offer precisely the solutions that our customers need for the development of innovative products and technologies," said Kirsten.
Tailor-made silicone elastomers are needed above all where conventional materials cannot or can no longer meet the high and constantly increasing requirements. The main drivers for the silicone business are megatrends such as electromobility, renewable energies and the expansion of power grids. "In order to be able to meet the increasing demand for such solutions in the long term, we must now lay the foundations for this," says Kirsten. "With Karlsbad, we are now opening a new chapter in the success story of our silicones."
The new site complements the existing German Wacker integrated sites in Burghausen and Nünchritz. The Group is thereby creating important conditions for further optimising its production processes. "With Karlsbad, our production network in Europe will be even more flexible. This will enable us to serve our customers in and outside Europe even better in the future," says Kirsten.
The focus of the new site in Karlsbad will be on the production of specialty silicones that cure at room temperature. High-temperature-curing silicone compounds will also be manufactured here later. 
Further personnel requirements in the following years cannot be ruled out. When fully operational, the site will be able to deliver over 20,000 tonnes of customised silicones per year. Production of room-temperature-curing solid silicone rubber will start at the end of 2025. High-temperature-curing solid silicones will be produced in Karlsbad from 2028.
Building and infrastructure
Of the several locations available, Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic was chosen. In the coming weeks and months, the production building and infrastructure will be built on the 23,000 sq m site. Wacker is cooperating with the US real estate developer Panattoni, which is coordinating the construction work, and the Czech real estate group Accolade, which owns the land and the building shell.
Karlovy Vary offers ideal conditions for Wacker's silicone production. "The proximity to Burghausen and Pilsen, the comparatively low energy costs in the region and the good availability of qualified employees made the decision very easy for us in the end," says Kirsten.--TradeArabia News Service