South Korea: Wacker Chemie has broken ground on a new expansion project at its Ulsan plant. The group is building a new spray dryer for dispersible polymer powders at the unit, which will have a total capacity of 80,000t/yr. It is also constructing an additional reactor for dispersions based on vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE), which are needed as the raw material for the spray dryer to produce dispersible polymer powders. Wacker says that the Ulsan’s plant complex, which covers the entire production chain from VAE dispersions to dispersible polymer powders, will be one of the largest of its kind in the world. Investments will total around Euro60m and production is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2019.
The expansion is intended to meet growing demand for its binder products in the construction industries in South Korea and Southeast Asia. Wacker dispersions and dispersible polymer powders are used in a variety of construction industry applications including modifying gypsum plasters and fillers.