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Wacker expands production of silicone sealants at its Nünchritz site

| By Mary Bailey

In response to growing demand, Wacker Chemie AG (Munich, Germany) is expanding its production and cartridge filling capacities for silicone sealants at its Nünchritz site. The expansion will increase the company’s capability to supply customers, who contract Wacker to produce ready-to-use silicone sealants for their direct sales. Some €20 million has been budgeted for the new manufacturing lines, which are scheduled to begin production in the fall of 2024. Construction is expected to start before the end of this year, subject to approval from the regulatory authorities involved. The expansion project will create additional new jobs at the site.

Construction silicones are in high demand. Silicone sealants provide fast, reliable, long-term sealing of doors, windows, kitchens, bath-rooms and walls. And they do more than simply protect critical building components from water, dust and moisture ingress. In times of climbing energy costs and continually increasing demands for energy efficiency, silicone sealing compounds are the product of choice in buildings to ensure comfortable interior surroundings and to minimize heat loss.

In recent years, development has been particularly dynamic for alkoxy silicones. These one-component neutral-cure silicone sealing compounds release alcohol upon crosslinking which renders them safe to use. They can also be applied on sensitive construction materials such as natural stone or metal. Alkoxy silicones are therefore versatile sealants for interior and exterior applications. Significant growth rates are anticipated in the coming years.

Wacker is among the leading manufacturers of consumer-friendly silicone sealing compounds. Expanding production in Nünchritz will allow us to tap into new markets and strengthen our position as a key sealants manufacturer in Europe”, says Wacker Executive Board member Auguste Willems. The investment affirms the company’s commitment to products contributing to sustainable, innovative applications and solutions. “We’ve made it our goal to more actively promote products that support energy efficient, climate-friendly and sustainable construction methods. Our alkoxy silicones play an important role here”, Willems points out.

The project plan at the Nünchritz site sees construction of a fully continuous compounding plant for silicone sealing products including expansion of the cartridge filling facility. The new production lines will be built next to the existing plants. “We will integrate the plants into our production process fully utilizing existing on-site filling capacities and logistics”, emphasizes Nünchritz Site Manager Jutta Matreux.

The expansion project will significantly increase Wacker’s production capacity for silicone sealing compounds and cartridges in Nünchritz. Depending on the grade, the new filling line will be capable of filling up to an additional 30 million cartridges each year. Start-up for the new plants is planned for the fall of next year, pending timely approval from regulatory authorities. The expansion will create several new jobs at the site, to be filled preferably by skilled workers from the region.