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Tuesday, 24 September 2019
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Markets & companies, Raw materials market

Wacker starts up production plant for specialty monomers

Monday, 15 June 2015

Wacker Chemie AG has officially started up a new specialty-monomer plant with an annual capacity of 3,800 metric tons at its Burghausen site in Germany.

New plant for specialty monomers at Wacker’s Burghausen site. Source: Wacker

New plant for specialty monomers at Wacker’s Burghausen site. Source: Wacker

The specialty monomers vinyl neodecanoate and vinyl laurate are key raw materials in the manufacture of specialty dispersible polymer powders. The goal of the new plant is to ensure that Wacker has sufficient specialty-binder capacity available, both now and in the future, to provide its customers with a secure, long-term supply of high-quality products.

Investment of EUR 8 million

Wacker invested some EUR 8 million in the facility and has, as a result, strengthened its position as the world’s biggest producer of dispersible polymer powders. By expanding its capacities, Wacker is meeting global demand for its dispersible polymer powders – which is rising amid such world trends as urbanisation, renovation and energy efficiency. The specialty monomers vinyl neodecanoate and vinyl laurate give dispersible polymer powders special properties, such as hydrophobicity. "Vinnapas” polymer powders find use in various construction applications such as tile adhesives, self-leveling flooring compounds, plasters, repair mortars, external thermal insulation composite systems and cementitious sealing slurries.

Novel process based on vinyl acetate

Christoph Riemer, head of polymer-powder business at Wacker Polymers, stresses how strategically important the new production facility is: "With our new specialty-monomer plant, we now have the capacity we need to secure long-term a captive supply of these raw materials, which are important for polymer-powder production at Burghausen. In addition, the facility reinforces our leading market and cost positions sustainably.” Bors C. Abele, head of acetyls business at Wacker Polymers, adds: "We have developed and patented our own novel process for the new plant based on vinyl acetate – a raw material that we actually produce ourselves on site. The process makes our production operations markedly more flexible and self-sufficient compared with conventional processes elsewhere.”

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