Adhesive & Sealant Industry News

Silicone Capacities Expanding to Meet Electromobility and Renewable Energy Demand

As the demand for electromobility and renewable energy applications grows higher and higher, it’s becoming apparent that more silicones are needed to fulfill this demand. Silicones are used where conventional materials cannot or can no longer meet the high demands of newer electromobility and renewable energy applications. One major provider, Wacker Chemie AG, just announced that its meeting the demand with plans to further expand its silicone specialties business in Europe. Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic was chosen as the location for the company’s new production site. Wacker reports that the main drivers of this expansion are megatrends such as electromobility and renewable energies which require silicones from WACKER. Production is expected to start at the end of 2025 and is expected to cost in the low triple-digit million-euro range.

“Karlovy Vary will be an important pillar for our silicone activities in Europe, especially when it comes to the production of customized silicone compounds. With this project, we will be creating important conditions for further optimizing our production processes and making us even more flexible within our integrated production system comprising four locations. Our customers stand to benefit from specific product solutions – reliable, highly efficient, and top quality,” said WACKER Executive Board member Christian Kirsten.

The main drivers for the silicone business are megatrends such as electromobility, renewable energies, and the expansion of electricity grids. “Our grades of silicone rubber are in demand in all key growth markets,” added Kirsten. “Customized silicone elastomers are especially needed where conventional materials cannot or can no longer meet the high and ever-increasing requirements. In order to be able to meet the growing demand for such solutions in the long term, we need to lay the groundwork for it now.”

WACKER is cooperating with U.S. based real estate developer Panattoni on the construction of the new site. Development work on the site is set to begin shortly, and construction of the building is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2024, subject to approval by the authorities. The Czech real estate group Accolade is the owner of the 23,000-square-meter site and the eventual production building on the outskirts of Karlovy Vary.

Source: WACKER