Wacker Chemie AG and and Dow Corning Corp. have started construction of the second phase of their pyrogenic silica plant in Zhangjiagang, China. The pyrogenic silica plant, together with a siloxane plant, is a key facility of an integrated silicone manufacturing site developed by both companies at Jiangsu Yangtze River Chemical Industrial Park in Zhangjiagang to produce materials used in the construction, beauty and personal care, power and automotive industries.
Pyrogenic silica is a nano-structured specialty chemical. It can be used as an active filler in silicone elastomers; a viscosity-adjusting agent in coatings, printing inks, adhesives, unsaturated polyester resins and plastisols; or as a flow aid in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and in food processing.
Covering an area of one million square meters, the site is China’s largest facility of this kind and among the world’s largest and most advanced integrated production complexes for silicones. The overall nameplate capacity for both siloxane and pyrogenic silica, including the second phase silica plant, is expected to be approximately 210,000 metric tons per year. Investments from both partners for the new pyrogenic silica production plant will amount to a mid double-digit million euro sum.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held on Oct. 22, 2009, in Zhangjiagang, at which Udo Horns, PhD, the project’s director for Wacker Chemie AG stated, “As with siloxane, pyrogenic silica is a key intermediate for manufacturing finished silicone products. The new investment will allow us to better serve our customers’ needs, and to drive the development of the silicone industry in China.”
Both companies also own and manufacturing plants for finished silicone products at the Zhangjiagang site.