ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Wacker Chemical Corp. will build a new $51 million innovation center and regional headquarters for its North American operations in Michigan.
The new project, in Pittsfield Charter Township near Ann Arbor, is expected to add 70 new jobs over time, according to the state of Michigan.
Capacity at the new headquarters will be more than 300 employees. This will include workers relocating from Wacker's current regional headquarters in Adrian, Mich., as well as the new jobs to be created over the next five years.
Manufacturing of elastomers, silicone fluids and silicone emulsions will continue in Adrian as about two-thirds of that location's current employees will remain at that site.
A previous Wacker expansion saw the creation of a silicones research and development center in Ann Arbor in 2017.
Michigan competed against locations in Tennessee and Ohio for the new project, the state said.
"Our new facility will enable future growth in the state and serve as an important anchor for our operations across North America. This area is one of the nation's leading communities for R&D," Wacker CEO David Wilhoit said in a statement.
This will allow the company to network and recruit from what Wilhoit described as a "highly educated and skilled talent base."
Wacker is receiving a $1 million grant from the Michigan Business Development Program through the Michigan Strategic Fund as part of the project. Pittsfield Charter Township, located just south of Ann Arbor, is providing a 50-percent property tax cut to attract the new construction.
Silicones are a major business line for Munich-based Wacker, accounting for about half of the company's overall global sales. Sectors served include automotive engineering, construction, chemicals, cosmetics, medical technology, energy, electronics, paper and textiles, the company said.