Wacker Metroark opens new silicone fluids plant in India

Wacker Metroark opens new silicone fluids plant in India

9:25 AM, 21st March 2018
Wacker Metroark opens new silicone fluids plant in India
The plant has an annual capacity of over 6,000 metric tons.

MUNICH, GERMANY/ AMTALA. INDIA: Wacker Metroark Chemicals Pvt Ltd has opened a new hydrosilylation plant for manufacturing functional silicone fluids at its site in Amtala, Kolkata, India.

The plant has an annual capacity of over 6,000 metric tons. The expansion is Wacker’s response to growing regional demand for speciality silicones for use in the textile, personal-care, rigid and flexible polyurethane foam and agrochemical sectors. The investment for the plant amounts to around €6 million.

Hydrosilylation is a chemical process in which organofunctional groups, such as glycols, olefins or ketones, are “docked” onto the periphery of silicones. This is done in order to modify the properties of the end product and render a silicone fluid, for example, hydrophobic (water-repellent) or hydrophilic (water-attracting).

Hydrosilylation silicone products reduce the incompatibilities between oils and water, thereby improving the compatibility with organic systems. The second application area of the new products manufactured in Amtala is polyurethane foams, in which functional silicone fluids serve as additives for adjusting the cell structure. Such foams are used in car interior trim and insulation materials. Silicone fluids and emulsions are also used in personal care products (e.g. shampoos), in softeners for the textile industry and in agricultural applications.

“With this expansion of our production, we are broadening our product portfolio and can thereby open up new markets in the growth regions of India and Southeast Asia. This investment underscores the commitment of Wacker to the Indian market and shows that our company is continuously growing its technical expertise and capacities in Asia,” said Christian Hartel, executive board member at Wacker Chemie AG with responsibility for Asia.

“Our new hydrosilylation plant enables us to address promising new markets where we haven’t been represented in India and Southeast Asia until now – for example, the market for silicone functional fluids with its many sales opportunities. In this way, we intend to secure our position as the market and technology leader for silicones in the region and provide a basis for further growth,” added Soumitra Mukherjee, managing director of Wacker Metroark Chemicals.

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