A brief history of Wako Chemicals USA, Inc.
Wako established a wholly
owned subsidiary, Wako Chemicals GmbH, in Germany in 1974 as its first
overseas base of the international business. Expanding Wako's diverse
international activities, Wako founded the second overseas subsidiary,
Wako Chemicals USA, Inc., as the first US sales office in Dallas,
Texas, in 1981. Wako's three lines of products, laboratory chemicals,
specialty chemicals, and diagnostic reagents, imported from Japan
were marketed in North and South America through Wako Chemicals USA.
As the demand for one of our specialty
chemicals, the V-50 polymerization initiator, increased, Wako decided
to build a manufacturing plant in the USA in order to strategically
supply the V-50 initiator to our customers internationally. Wako selected
Richmond, Virginia, as the site for the first US production plant.
While the plant construction was still underway, Wako Chemicals USA
closed the Dallas office and relocated to Richmond in 1989.
The production plant was built and
started manufacturing V-50 in 1990. The V-50, 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane)
dihydrochloride, is an azo initiator used in radical polymerization,
one application of which is a production of polyacrylic acid, a superabsorbent
polymer. Since then, Wako Chemicals USA has been supplying the V-50
initiator to superabsorbent polymer manufacturers not only in the
USA, but also internationally, including Europe and Japan.
Wako is a worldwide supplier of laboratory
chemicals. Before 1996, Wako's manufacturing sites for laboratory
chemicals were only in Japan. Taking advantage of its location in
the USA, where many advanced science technologies are developed, Wako
Chemicals USA expanded the plant operations to include laboratory
chemicals, especially biochemical reagents.
Electronic chemicals are one of product lines in Wako's specialty
chemicals. Wako's ultra pure hydrogen peroxide, HIRINPER, is a cleaning
solution used for the removal of contaminants and impurities from
the surface of silicon wafers. As the semiconductor industry grew
in the USA, Wako's stable supply of the cleaning solution was required
as it was proved to effectively clean the semiconductor surface.
The new plant for the production of HIRINPER was built in 1998.
Wako Chemicals USA acquired the LAL business of
Haemachem, Inc. located in St. Louis, MO in February 2002. It has
been incorporated into the organization as the Haemachem Division.
Limulus amebocyte lysate, LAL, is a reagent to detect bacterial endotoxins,
of which the major application is one of the release tests in the
pharmaceutical industry. The merger of Haemachem and Wako's expertise
will form a strong strategic alliance in the LAL business.
Construction completed for a new Specialty Chemicals'
photographic intermediates production facility, the expansion of the
warehouse, and the new lab building.
The Haemachem Division was renamed as the LAL
Division. Construction of the new LAL laboratory was completed and
some operations were relocated from St. Louis, MO to Richmond, VA.
The LAL Division moved all operations from St.
Louis, MO to Richmond, VA