WACKER is a globally active company with state-of-the-art specialty chemical products found in countless everyday items, ranging from cosmetic powders to solar cells. The company develops and manufactures products for all key global industries and active in the silicone polymer, fine chemicals, and polysilicon industries. Its portfolio includes over 3,200 products supplied in over 100 countries. WACKER was established in 1914 and is headquartered in Munich, Germany.
Global Location Strategies was commissioned by Wacker Chemie AG, now WACKER, to identify a location for its new US hyperpure polysilicon manufacturing facility. This facility, their first outside of Germany, is needed to meet the growing demand of the North American electronics and solar cells manufacturing industries. The project requirements included 500+ acre sites in close proximity to an existing Chlor-Alkali manufacturing facility and the procurement of key raw materials, by directly importing anhydrous hydrochloric acid or chlorine gas and hydrogen gas from the existing Chlor-Alkali production facility. Other considerations were access to industrial utility infrastructure; quality workforce; environmental conditions, access to rail and highway infrastructure; and a business-friendly climate.
Considering WACKER’s sensitive project requirements, GLS set out in search of both greenfield sites, as well as sites located adjacent to Chlor-Alkali plants in the US and Canada. After considering numerous proposed sites, GLS arrived at two locations for WACKER’s review.
In 2010, WACKER announced the selection of Cleveland, Tennessee for its $2.5 billion polysilicon facility. The site is WACKER’s single largest investment ever and employs about 700 workers.
In 2019, Wacker added a $150 million production line to use some of the byproducts of its main plant to produce Pyrogenic silica, which is used in everything from lipstick and toothpaste to paints, fiberglass and silicone elastomers.
In 2022, WACKER announced a $200 million expansion to add production of a new silicone rubber and sealant, adding 200 more jobs to the growing facility. With the newest expansion of its specialty silicones, Wacker will have invested nearly $3 billion in Southeast Tennessee in less than a decade – the largest new investment by any company in the region.