The reason for this increased commitment to the region is strong growth, particularly in the building industry. “Latin America is a promising market for WACKER. Demand for chemical raw materials, especially our dispersible polymer powders, has risen noticeably over recent years,” says David Wilhoit, head of Wacker Chemical Corporation, the subsidiary which is responsible for the North and Latin American regions. “With the new subsidiary and technical center, we are further expanding our strong market position in the Andean region. This will allow us to optimally support our local customers and partners.”
The new technical center in Bogotá serves as a local research and development facility for polymer binders for construction applications. The focus is on formulations containing VINNAPAS® dispersible polymer powders, which are used in dry-mix mortars for tile adhesives or grouts, for example. The labs are state-of-the-art and provide equipment for testing products under different climatic and environmental conditions. For supplementary analyses, WACKER’s global network of technical centers is also available for consultative support.
“The new technical center enables us to support our customers in tailoring their products to modern construction trends and local raw materials, helping them solve construction-chemical related challenges”, explains Christoph Riemer, head of WACKER’s polymer powder business. “The transformation from conventional building materials and methods to high-quality systems using polymer powders is one of our key strategies. With the new lab, we are significantly contributing to the distribution of modern construction materials in the Andean region.”
The facility further houses a regional subsidiary that promotes products from the WACKER SILICONES, WACKER POLYMERS and WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS divisions to customers from Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru. Bundling sales, R&D laboratories and applications technology under one roof fosters closer teamwork between the sales and development teams and further enhances customer support in the region. This makes it easier for WACKER to respond quickly to specific requirements and to incorporate customer feedback.
WACKER in Latin America
WACKER has been supplying the Americas with basic chemicals since the mid-1960s. The company laid the foundation for its presence in Latin America with a separate sales office in Mexico in 1972. The local subsidiary Wacker Mexicana S.A. was founded in Mexico City in 1975. In 2012, WACKER established a technical center for polymer applications in Mexico City, which was expanded in 2015. The Mexico technical center also houses a local branch of the WACKER ACADEMY international training center. To meet the rising demand on sales and services in the Andean region, the Group has now founded the new subsidiary Wacker Colombia SAS, including a technical center, in Bogotá. The technical center in Mexico supports customers from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Caribbean. From now on, customers from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Bolivia will be supported from the Bogotá office.