Wacker Chemie AG to Build New Pyrogenic Silica Plant at Existing Charleston Site

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd along with Wacker Chemie AG officials announced the company will build a new production plant for its HDKâ brand of pyrogenic silica at its Charleston site in Southeast Tennessee. Wacker will invest $150 million in the new production facility and create 50 new jobs in Bradley County.

“Our goal to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs is made possible when successful companies choose to grow and create new opportunities for citizens throughout the state. We are grateful to Wacker for its decision to further invest in Tennessee by building a new production plant in Charleston,” Haslam said. “While in Germany last month, I had an opportunity to visit with several members of Wacker’s North American and German leadership teams who proudly shared with me that Wacker celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2014. I look forward to Wacker’s continued growth in Bradley County and seeing the company reach many milestones in Tennessee in the years to come.”

“Wacker announced its plans to join the Charleston business community less than eight years ago and in that short time, it has had a significant impact on the state. The company’s $2.5 billion investment represents the largest single investment in Tennessee’s history, and we’re proud to see that Wacker’s continued confidence in the state’s highly-skilled workforce and dedication to innovation has resulted in expanding its Tennessee footprint,” Boyd said. “On behalf of Team Tennessee, I’d like to thank Wacker for its new investment in Bradley County and for creating valuable jobs that will have a great impact on area residents.”

“The additional capacities strengthen our market position as a leading global producer of pyrogenic silica and help us to meet our customers’ growing demand,” Wacker CEO Dr. Rudolf Staudigl said. “The new plant is the next logical step toward expanding Charleston into a fully integrated silicon site in the world’s second largest chemical market.”

Wacker produces HDKâ pyrogenic silica in Burghausen and Nünchritz, Germany and Zhangjiagang, China. The Munich-based chemical company is the world’s third-largest manufacturer in this sector.

Located adjacent to and integrated with Wacker’s existing polysilicon plant, the new production plant will have an annual capacity of 13,000 metric tons. Construction will begin in the second quarter of next year, with completion planned for the first half of 2019.

The facility is a key addition to the Charleston site’s supply chain. The main byproduct of polysilicon manufacturing is tetrachlorosilane, which either has to be converted and fed back into the production loop or can be used to create added value by being further processed into HDKâ. Wacker achieves maximum flexibility in the reprocessing of tetrachlorosilane, avoiding the need to dispose of waste products and thereby enhancing the efficiency of the integrated production system as a whole.

Source: State of Tennessee, ECD

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit www.eteda.org


Published October 11, 2019