Momentive Performance Materials Inc. has outlined a series of steps to accelerate its global transition from commodity basic chemicals to specialty silicones.
The steps include a $15 million investment in specialized electronic materials production in Waterford, New York and the sale of its consumer sealants business to Henkel.
"I'm excited about Momentive's future, enabled by innovation that will provide creative solutions to our customers," said Sam Conzone, Ph.D., CEO and president of Momentive. "We are continuing to prioritize and invest in specialty businesses where we have the capabilities. Everything we do is focused on creating a stronger, more sustainable future for our employees, customers and communities."
The $15 million investment in production will be reportedly operational starting in mid-2021 and is part of a $40 million global investment to drive electronic materials growth in areas, including advanced aerospace, 5G telecommunications, automotive electronics and advanced display applications.
"This investment is a major step in advancing the Momentive's value, technologies and applications for customers around the world," said Sandip Tyagi, president and general manager of formulated specialties. "Moreover, investing in electronic materials production focuses our talent and expertise, and solidifies the future as a global center for innovation."
Over the past five years, Momentive has invested approximately $100 million in growth, technology, productivity, safety and reliability at the Waterford site.
Momentive announced the sale of its consumer sealants business to Henkel. Momentive will continue to manufacture consumer-line products through 2021 under a transition supply agreement. The move away from consumer sealants will enable a greater focus on silicones and specialty applications where can thrive. This transaction excludes the GE-branded construction sealants product line, which will remain a Momentive focus.
The anticipated sale remains subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory clearances.
The move to phase out basic chemical products would position the facility as a sustainable, global center specializing in advanced silicone technologies. These envisioned changes will be discussed with IUE-CWA union leadership and would not begin until 2021, continuing into 2022.
"Although these changes may be difficult in the short-term, we will move through them in a structured manner, showing empathy and support to those affected," Conzone continued. "Ultimately, these changes are necessary to position Momentive as a stronger and more sustainable company."
"Our industry dynamics have changed dramatically over the past decade with the commoditization of basic chemical, globalized supply chains and increasing specialized customer needs and we want to ensure Waterford remains viable and sustainable," said Michael Foley, president and general manager of Core Silicones and Intermediates. "We recognize that our plans to modernize and refocus the Waterford site around our positions of strength will bring significant changes for our employees over the next several years and we will support our colleagues and their families along the way, showing them the respect and appreciation they deserve."
For more information, contact Momentive Performance Materials Inc.