Market indicators show that there is significant potential for growth in the US silicones market which is expected to top $3.8bn over the next 3 years. Elsewhere in the world, there have been announcements in setting up new manufacturing facilities or R&D centres in Asia, notably in China.
One such investment is by Wacker and its 50-50 JV partner Dow Corning, which is carrying out a USD$600 million plant expansion in Zhangjiagang. This world-class scale siloxane manufacturing facility will be located in the Jiangsu Yangtze River Chemical Industrial Park, Zhangjiagang City, Jiangsu Province. Also included in the joint venture project is a fumed silica plant, which together will support the vigorous growth and demand for silicone materials of both the Chinese and Asian markets. The integrated site in Zhangjiagang will also house other facilities owned and operated separately by Dow Corning and WACKER for the manufacture of silicone finished products.
A regional research centre for silicone resins, construction polymers, silicone emulsion and antifoam agents to serve Southeast Asian customer is also being set up in Singapore.
Silicone is used in a myriad of applications ranging from construction, chemicals, cosmetics, textiles, automotive, paper and electronics. New technology advances and latest developments in the end use markets are beginning to propel new investments in this capital intensive but very lucrative industry. These will the focus of a pioneer conference on Global Silicone Business Outlook to be held this September 25-26, in Shanghai China.
Co-organized by CMT and CCN, the high-level panelists invited to deliver presentations will include industry leaders from Dow Corning, Gelest, Momentive Performance Materials, Bluestar Silicones, Jilin Petrochemical, Elkay Chemicals and others. Besides discussing new global business opportunities, the speakers will share their views on the potential use of silicone fluids, silicone rubber, new applications and how new players can participate in this growing industry.