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Wacker Chemie AG is expanding its production capacity in South Korea for vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions. The Munich-based chemical group is constructing a new plant with a capacity of 40,000t/yr at its site in Ulsan. This measure will almost double Ulsan’s VAE dispersion capacity, making the enlarged production complex one of the biggest of its kind in South Korea. Expected to start up in January 2013, the plant will enable Wacker to meet accelerating demand for high-quality VAE dispersions, especially in South East Asia’s developing countries. Having budgeted around €10M for the expansion project, Wacker is strengthening its position as one of the world’s major suppliers of VAE dispersions.
Wacker already produces vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer dispersions marketed under its Vinnapas brand at Ulsan for use as binders in the adhesives industry. Now, the group is constructing a second reactor line with an additional 40,000t/yr capacity for applications in the paints and coatings, construction, non-woven, paper and carpet industries. Wacker considers the expansion to be essential for reliably and enduringly meeting the market growth that industry experts anticipate in the region.
"Our new production facility for VAE dispersions at Ulsan represents a key step in our global growth strategy,” explained Auguste Willems, Executive Board member of Wacker Chemie AG. In the coming years, he stressed, demand would continue to grow for top-quality VAE dispersions, especially for those used in formulating more environmentally friendly products featuring low emissions. "That was why we also began, this spring, expanding annual VAE capacity at our Chinese site in Nanjing, where we are adding 60,000t. Nanjing’s new capacity is expected to come on-stream by mid-2013. Our expansion projects in South Korea and China will double our VAE capacity in the region and thus help us consolidate our already strong position as a globally leading producer of VAE dispersions.”
The expanded site in Ulsan will be one of the biggest of its kind in South Korea.