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The plant in Panagarh, India, will manufacture silicone rubber and ready-to-use silicone compounds, with wire and cable grades also on the product slate.

Posted by Staff

July 12, 2022

2 Min Read
Silmix silicone compounds
Image courtesy of Wacker

German chemicals group Wacker opened a new production site for silicones in Panagarh, India. The plant, which is situated 160 km northwest of Kolkata, will manufacture silicone rubber and ready-to-use silicone compounds for electromobility, medical technology, and electrical transmission and distribution. A subsequent expansion stage is planned in the medium term for the production of silicone fluids and silicone emulsions.

In order to meet increasing demand for silicones in India and to consolidate its position as a leading silicone producer, Wacker plans to invest a mid-double-digit million euro amount in Panagarh in the next few years.

aerial view of new production site in Panagarh, India

The new 165,000-square-meter plant in Panagarh, India, is three times the size of Wacker's existing site in Amtala, India.

Wacker and its Indian Joint Venture Wacker Metroark Chemicals (WMC) have been operating a production site for silicones near Kolkata since 1999. The new 165,000-square-meter plant is three times the size of the existing site in Amtala, where silicone fluids and silicone emulsions will continue to be produced for the cosmetics and personal care industries.

“Panagarh offers excellent infrastructure and very good connections to the Indian railway and road networks,” said Wacker Executive Board member Auguste Willems at the opening ceremony. “However, the main benefit of the site is its space. We will use this to significantly expand our production capacity in India and strengthen our market position on the Indian subcontinent. This additional production capacity will double the amount of silicone we produce in India in the medium term,” said Willems.

Wacker intends to expand production at the new site in several stages. Currently, high-consistency and room-temperature-vulcanizing solid silicone rubbers, liquid silicone rubber, and Silmix silicone compounds are manufactured in Panagarh. These products are used particularly in electromobility, medical technology, and electric transmission and distribution.

In the next stage, it is planned to produce silicone fluids and silicone emulsions for cosmetics, textile, and personal care applications. “This way we can supply our customers in India even better and more quickly with our specialty silicones,” said Willems. “We will expand this site step by step and thus continue to strengthen our leading position as the largest silicone manufacturer in India.”

Sustainability was a key factor in the construction of the production plant. Numerous measures were taken to significantly minimize the environmental impact. For example, river water for production will be provided via pipelines to protect groundwater reserves. WMC is also planning to use solar energy and renewable raw materials to generate energy and heat. As the site is located in a rice-growing area, husk from rice production can be used to generate energy.

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