Larry Zhang has been appointed as the new Senior Vice President for Elkem’s Silicones division, a leading global player in fully integrated silicone manufacturing. He will step into the role with immediate effect and be based in Shanghai, China.
Mr. Zhang comes from the position as the Vice President for Operations in Elkem’s Silicones division and Director of the Asia-Pacific region. He has significant leadership experience from China National Bluestar and holds an engineering degree from Central South University. This follows the previously announced appointment of Frederic Jacquin as Elkem’s Senior Vice President for Strategy & Business Development from 1 March 2022.
Elkem is a fully integrated producer from silicon metal to upstream siloxane and downstream silicone specialties. The Silicones division in Elkem has more than 4400 employees, 14 multi-functional manufacturing sites and 13 research and innovation centres around the globe. It offers a full range of silicone solutions for diverse specialty markets, and in 2021 delivered revenues of NOK 17.4 billion.
“Elkem is one of the world’s leading suppliers of silicon-based advanced material solutions shaping a better and more sustainable future, and we are proud to be a global leader in fully-integrated silicone manufacturing. Elkem pursues a strategy of growth through operational excellence and increased specialisation, and this will continue in the Silicones division under Larry’s strong leadership. Silicones will also continue to develop and grow both in China and the rest of the world, supported by megatrends such as the green transition and the rise of middle class worldwide. I know Larry as a committed business leader and I very much look forward to having him as a member of Elkem’s corporate management team. With this change, our corporate management represents five nationalities from three continents, further reflecting Elkem’s diverse global organisation,” says Elkem’s CEO Helge Aasen.
Due to its wide range of application areas, silicone solutions are used in a large number of products and industries, including manufactured goods, construction materials, electronics and consumer items. An electric vehicle contains on average four times more silicones than a traditional car, as the insulation material of choice for EV battery cables. Silicones also enable CO2 reductions equal to nine times the emissions from production and end-of-life.
In April 2021, the Elkem board approved a NOK 3.8 billion strategic expansion of the Xinghuo Silicones plant in China to strengthen Elkem’s position in the fastest growing silicones market and to further support the specialisation strategy. In addition to supporting Elkem´s specialisation and growth strategy, the project will also significantly improve Elkem’s overall cost position and environmental profile based on state-of-the-art technology.
In July 2021, Elkem announced the official opening of its new EUR 25 million Research & Innovation Centre in Saint-Fons in Lyon’s “Chemical Valley” in France, hosting 120 researchers to work on innovations in partnership with customers, mainly in the fields of the circular economy, digitalisation, consumer goods, living comfort and new materials for energy and mobility. Elkem also announced, in October 2021, a EUR 36 million capacity extension of its upstream silicone intermediate units in Roussillon in France, which in February 2022 received financial support from the French government.