Industry News

Wacker Invests in Indian Silicone Compounding Plant

Published on 2011-06-30. Author : SpecialChem

Munich / Kolkata -- The Munich-based chemical group Wacker has commissioned a compounding plant at its joint venture site Wacker Metroark Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. near Kolkata, India, for the manufacture of ready-to-use silicone elastomers. The plant is designed for an annual production volume of several thousand metric tons and can be expanded in stages as demand requires. It is intended to supply India's strongly growing economy with high-quality silicone compounds faster and more flexibly. Several million euros are planned for investment in this plant.

"India is one of our fastest-growing sales markets," says Dr. Bernd Pachaly, head of Wacker's Engineering Silicones business unit. "The new SILMIX facility is constructed according to Wacker standards and will produce silicone compounds for the Indian electronics, automotive and medium and high-voltage insulator market as well as for other industries." During the start-up event in Kolkata, Pachaly's deputy Dr. Johann Schuster pointed out that Wacker is one of the leading manufacturers of silicone elastomers for electric insulators. "By manufacturing such products locally, we can serve the market much more flexibly and significantly reduce lead times while still delivering the expected high product quality." The SILMIX plant has been designed so that production capacity can be adjusted to meet current market requirements in a short period of time. Schuster: "If necessary, we can respond very quickly to additional demand."

Soumitra Mukherjee, Managing Director of Wacker Metroark Chemicals (WMC), praised the investment as an important milestone for the joint venture. "Wacker and Metroark have been working together with great success for over a decade. With our range of high quality silicone products, we are already market leaders in many industries in India today." Mukherjee pointed out that the plant includes a state-of-the-art lab for quality control. With its new compounding plant in Kolkata, Wacker is excellently positioned. "This way it is possible to test and develop high quality silicone compounds for the Indian market in India itself," emphasized Mukherjee. "This is a major competitive advantage for our customers, who are often under great pressure to deliver quality on time."

For the manufacture of silicone compounds, the crosslinker, pigment and other additives are usually mixed into the rubber base. Blends such as these are used in a number of industries, including the automotive sector, the electrical industry and the heavy current industry.

Wacker Metroark Chemicals

Wacker Metroark Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. is headquartered in Kolkata and is responsible for all manufacturing and marketing activities in the Indian subcontinent relating to Wacker silicone products. The joint venture was set up in 1998 and is active in greater India's most important trade centers with sales offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai, as well as in Dhaka and in Bangladesh. Key markets are the textile, personal-care, construction, coatings, plastics, adhesives and packaging sectors. The company also markets Wacker silicone sealants, silanes and pyrogenic silica in India. Wacker Metroark Chemicals' current workforce in India numbers over 150 employees.

Source: Wacker

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