Wacker to build new production facilities for dispersions in South Korea

Wacker Chemie AG is expanding its existing production plants for polymer binders in South Korea. The Munich-based chemical company plans to build a new spray dryer for dispersible polymer powders at its Ulsan site.

Wacker to build new production facilities for dispersions in South Korea. Source: Wacker -

The dryer will have a total capacity of 80,000 metric tons per year.

Expenditures of EUR60 million

Wacker also plans to build a further reactor for dispersions based on vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE). Its dispersions will be used in the spray dryer for the production of dispersible polymer powders. Thanks to the new reactor, Ulsan’s VAE dispersion capacity will more than double. Ulsan’s plant complex, which covers the entire product chain from VAE dispersions to dispersible polymer powders, will be one of the largest of its kind worldwide. Capital expenditures of around EUR60 million are budgeted for the capacity increase and for expanding local infrastructure. Scheduled to start before the end of the year, construction work is expected to be finished by Q1 2019.

Strengthening the market position

“Our investment in expanding our polymer-binder production facilities in Ulsan is a key step in our global growth strategy,” said Rudolf Staudigl, CEO of Wacker Chemie AG. “The additional capacity will strengthen our market position the world’s leading manufacturer of dispersions and dispersible polymer powders, and will help us meet our Asian customers’ continuously rising demand over the long term,” he emphasized.

Modernisation of local infrastructure

Worldwide, megatrends such as urbanisation, renovation and energy efficiency are stimulating demand for environmentally compatible dry-mix mortar products. This, in turn, is spurring demand for dispersible polymer powders. Wacker therefore sees the current expansion as vital for reliably and enduringly meeting the market growth projected for the region. Alongside the new facilities, the Group is also investing in the expansion and modernisation of local infrastructure.

Areas of application

Dispersions and dispersible polymer powders are needed in sectors such as construction, paints, coatings and adhesives, for example for formulating high-quality tile adhesives, cementitious waterproofing membranes, energy-saving external thermal insulation composite systems, and low-odor, low-emission interior paints. They are also used in carpet applications, technical textiles and the coating of paper.

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