WACKER to consolidate production of pyrogenic silica
* Kempten Site Closure Planned For 2011
* Transfer Of Production Volumes To Burghausen And Nünchritz Will Increase Capacity Utilization There
* Personnel Director Sittenthaler: “I See A Good Chance Of Implementing The Planned Closure Without Layoffs”
Munich / Kempten, Wacker Chemie AG announced today that it is consolidating pyrogenic silica production in the context of previously announced structural improvement measures at its WACKER SILICONES division. As a result, WACKER plans to close its Kempten site during 2011. The Munich-based chemical company intends to transfer Kempten’s production volumes to Burghausen and Nünchritz, optimizing capacity utilization at these sites’ high-volume facilities. The planned closure has led to impairments on fixed assets of some €3.5 million and to a €5.5 million provision. WACKER has recognized both amounts in its consolidated financial statements for 2009. Currently, WACKER has about 50 employees at Kempten.
“Our goal is to close Kempten without layoffs – and I see a very good chance we’ll succeed,” said WACKER’s Personnel Director Dr. Wilhelm Sittenthaler. Measures include offering employees jobs at Burghausen and Nünchritz. “We’ll need additional people there in coming years, especially due to the expansion of our polysilicon business. And we will, of course, primarily consider our existing staff for these jobs,” stressed Sittenthaler. As a result, he said he was confident that the closure could be implemented in a socially-acceptable manner via natural fluctuation, phased early retirement and severance packages.
WACKER is the world’s third-largest producer of pyrogenic silica, which it markets as HDK®. This high-purity, amorphous silicon dioxide powder is used as a filler in silicone elastomers and as a viscosity-adjusting agent in coatings, printing inks, adhesives, unsaturated polyester resins and plastisols. It also serves as a flow aid in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and food industries.
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on assumptions and estimates of WACKER’s Executive Board. Although we assume the expectations in these forward-looking statements are realistic, we cannot guarantee they will prove to be correct. The assumptions may harbor risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual figures to differ considerably from the forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such discrepancies include, among other things, changes in the economic and business environment, variations in exchange and interest rates, the introduction of competing products, lack of acceptance for new products or services, and changes in corporate strategy. WACKER does not plan to update the forward-looking statements, nor does it assume the obligation to do so.
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