“In the years ahead, we expect demand in South America to grow for our high-quality specialty chemicals – and see huge potential for our Jandira site,” Tobias Ohler, an executive board member for Wacker, told the approximately 200 partners and customers gathered for the celebration.
Size and scope
The company’s current facility in Jandira (which is quite near São Paulo) manufactures silicone products for customers in the textile, construction, paper, and agrochemical industries as well as in personal care and cosmetics.
That site is now being expanded to include a “new multifunctional facility…for manufacturing antifoam agents and functional silicone fluids,” according to a press release about the company’s 40th anniversary of operation in Brazil.
Wacker’s Jandira technical center employs more than 100 people; and the company’s business in Brazil amounted to nearly €90m ($107.18m) in 2016. The company is spending around €7m ($8.34m) to grow the facility, which will not only manufacture ingredients but also be a place where customers can get product development and applications support.
Yesterday and today
The Brazil-based business serves customers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Reflecting on the company’s success in the region so far, Ohler points out, “Our sales in this region have grown at an average rate of more than nine percent annually over the past ten years. At the same time, local production volumes have increased five-fold.”
Fellow executive board member Auguste Willems believes Wacker is well-situated for growth. “Thanks to their virtually unlimited applications, silicones have become an integral part of daily life – whether in the electronics industry, the automotive sector, in cosmetics or medicine,” he tells the press.
The company’s personal care business includes suppling ingredients for color cosmetic, skin care, hair care, sun care, and wipes. As the Wacker site describes it, “the range extends from versatile silicones to pyrogenic silicas through to innovative cyclodextrins.”
And Willems points out that “[with]…novel biotech products, we are building a bridge between chemistry and biotechnology. With our ongoing expansion of silicone production in Jandira, we are well positioned to meet the growing needs of the South American market.”