Expansions: Wacker completes US$100 mn capacity update for powders/dispersions in China; Nippon Shokubai inaugurates new acrylic acid facility in Indonesia

Nippon Shokubai inaugurates new acrylic acid facility in Indonesia

An inauguration ceremony held recently marked the completion of the capacity expansion for vinyl-acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions and VAE dispersible polymer powders at German firm Wacker Chemie’s Nanjing site in China. With a new reactor for dispersions and a new spray dryer for dispersible polymer powders, the expansion more than doubles Wacker’s production capacity in Nanjing, enabling it to meet growing customer demand for its high-quality binders, particularly from China’s buoyant construction industry. Wacker invested around US$100 million in its integrated production site for the expansion measure.

“China is the world’s largest construction market, covering about 20% of global construction expenditure. Our VAE dispersions and dispersible powders enable us to supply the growing construction market in China with binders for various applications such as ceramic tile adhesives, waterproofing membranes or carpets. This capacity expansion in Nanjing strengthens our position as the global leader for vinyl-acetate-ethylene dispersions and polymer powders,” noted Christian Hartel, CEO of Wacker Chemie.

Wacker’s Nanjing expansion corresponds to a total investment of more than US$ 00 million. The new production facilities more than double the annual capacity of VAE dispersions and VAE dispersible polymer powders on site. The VAE dispersions project is designed around an advanced dispersion-polymerisation process and a safety control system that meets high standards, making the entire process cutting edge in this field, it adds.

The new production line for VAE dispersible polymer powders adopts advanced spray-drying technology and features an advanced process control system (APC). The two new plants are the largest of their kind in the world. The Nanjing site is one of four production sites Wacker Polymers operates globally.

Wacker says its Nanjing expansion was launched at the end of 2020 and successfully completed after overcoming various challenges posed by the Covid pandemic during construction.

Wacker completes US$100 mn capacity update for powders/dispersions in China

In other news, Japanese chemical firm Nippon Shokubai recently held an inauguration ceremony for its US$200 million acrylic acid (AA) facility with a production capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year in Cilegon, Banten, Indonesia.

Nippon Shokubai Group manufactures superabsorbent polymers (SAP) for disposable diapers and AA which is the raw material for SAP. AA is also used as raw materials for paints and adhesives etc. in the market. Nippon Shokubai has AA/SAP production bases around the world and taking advantage of their integrated production from AA to SAP to supply stably and widely around the world, and even maintains the top share of SAP in the world (according to Nippon Shokubai research in 2022).

Nippon Shokubai Group’s AA is used to produce SAP for disposable diapers as its largest application, and global demand of AA is expected to grow steadily due to factors such as an increase in the population of infants and the elderly. To meet the growing demand, Nippon Shokubai says it is strengthening the global AA/SAP supply network.

The company’s global AA production capacity will expand to 980,000 tonnes/year (domestic 540,000 tonnes/year, overseas 440,000 tonnes/year) by integrating the new AA capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year in Indonesia.


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