Today, Wacker Chemie AG (Munich, Germany; www.wacker.com) officially launched its new production plant for vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions at its Ulsan site in South Korea. The additional 40,000 metric tons (m.t.) from the second reactor line increases the site’s VAE-dispersion capacity to a total of 90,000 m.t./yr. The production capacity of the site has thus almost doubled, making the plant complex one of the biggest of its kind in South Korea. The expansion is Wacker’s response to the rising demand for high- quality VAE dispersions, especially in Southeast Asia’s emerging markets. The project goal is to ensure sufficient capacities of Vinnapas VAE dispersions now and in the years ahead. As a result, Wacker will be able to offer its customers in the region consistently high product quality and supply security over the long term. Having invested around €10 million in the expansion project, Wacker is strengthening its position as one of the world’s major suppliers of VAE dispersions.
Under its Vinnapas trademark, Wacker already produces vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer dispersions at Ulsan for use as binders in the adhesives industry. The second reactor line’s additional capacity is particularly aimed at reliably meeting the strong growth in the paints and coatings sector, as well as in construction, paper, carpet and nonwovens applications. Wacker already started expanding the VAE capacity of its Nanjing site in China by 60,000 m.t./yr in spring 2012. This is set for completion by mid-2013. With the expansions in both South Korea and China, the company is doubling its VAE capacity in the region.