The newly completed integrated silicone manufacturing site in Zhangjiagang jointly owned by Dow Corning and its joint venture partner will ensure a reliable supply and shorten delivery times for Chinese and Asian customers who purchase XIAMETER® brand silicones, said Shelley Bausch, vice president and global executive director of the XIAMETER brand.
"As customers expand in this region, we are investing to expand with them to supply the silicone materials critical to their manufacturing processes," Bausch said.
The combined US$1.8 billion investment is China's largest facility of this kind of integrated silicone production sites. The site includes a siloxane plant and a pyrogenic silica plant, both of which are jointly owned by Dow Corning and its joint venture partner. The site also features finished silicone production plants, which are owned and operated independently by each company.
Products manufactured at the site include D4, linears, polymers, and other intermediates, as well as downstream products such as finished fluids, emulsions, sealants and rubber. In addition to intermediates and fluids, the Zhangjiagang site includes finished silicone plants for rubbers and sealants, which are primarily sold by the XIAMETER brand. The site has already produced a number of products within the last year, including more than 20 XIAMETER brand silicone rubbers and three newly developed fumed-silica filled silicone rubbers for the Asia market.
The Zhangjiagang site is now the XIAMETER brand's and Dow Corning's main sourcing site in Asia. This cornerstone of the company's operations also ushers in a number of benefits to its Asia customers, including a significant reduction in delivery time from months to a few weeks, and the ability to react quickly to material demand fluctuations in the market thanks to the local manufacturing and local supply. Efficiencies are driven from the XIAMETER® brand's web-enabled business model and Dow Corning's local inventory management and shipping capabilities.
The XIAMETER brand accounts for approximately 50 percent of Dow Corning's silicone sales in Greater China.
"We expect the XIAMETER brand's fast growth in China to continue to accelerate with the increased capacity," Bausch added. "The efficiency of the online business model and assurance of high-quality standard silicone products have been well-received in the China market."
XIAMETER brand customers in China can now take advantage of free-trade-zone regulations and bonded logistics, which allows Chinese customers to purchase in local currency or U.S. dollars.
Global XIAMETER brand customers continue to benefit from a number of features introduced in 2009, including the ability to purchase through distribution and receive local technical service, local inventory, and just-in-time delivery. The brand's three-tiered price system accommodates customer preferences for price and volume options.
Customers can balance and better manage their inventory and warehousing costs based on price and volume options offered, and can choose credit terms for each order. For example, while standard terms are 30 days, customers can also select 45- or 60-day terms, or 15-day terms at a discount. They can also take advantage of online supply agreements to secure price and volume for up to one year in advance.