The company’s northernmost production site
Cruise ships and green chimney
When the weather’s good it can be seen from far away: the green chimney towering 132 meters above the coastal plain at the Brunsbüttel site. Bayer MaterialScience doesn’t just maintain its own large-scale production facilities at the confluence of the North Sea, the Elbe River and the Kiel Canal. The company is also the operator of an industrial park that is home to eight other international companies and a variety of service providers.
Brunsbüttel site located at the Kiel Canal, the world’s busiest artificial waterway.
The cornerstone for Bayer MaterialScience’s northernmost production site was laid in a marsh in 1973. Concrete piles up to 26 meters high had to be rammed into the soft ground. The first plants came on stream four years later, initially for the production of toluene diisocyanate (TDI), a key component of flexible polyurethane foam.
Massive expansion of capacity
Diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI), which is required for rigid foam, has been produced in Brunsbüttel since 1988. Now plans call for the construction of a new large-scale plant that will more than double the existing MDI capacity to roughly 420,000 metric tons per year. The start of construction ultimately depends on the development of the market. The concept includes modifying the existing TDI plant for the production of MDI. TDI production is to move to Dormagen, which will become Bayer MaterialScience’s only European production site for the flexible foam component.
Since 2005, the company in the far North has been not just a manufacturer, but also the operator of the Bayer Brunsbüttel Industrial Park, a state-of-the-art chemical site with outstanding infrastructure. Some 1,000 people work at the 420-hectare site. With more than 600 employees and 100 trainees, Bayer MaterialScience is the largest employer both there and in the region. Many employees cycle to work from the neighboring residential areas – in most cases taking the ferry across the Kiel Canal..
Multistory cruise ships also pass regularly through this important waterway, and it’s a special event each time. Also stretching heavenward are the towers of the giant wind farms that are another hallmark of the region in the far North of Germany.
As is the relationship with nature that even finds expression within the industrial park, where cows can graze in the grassy areas between the facilities. The site is also helping to protect the endangered white stork by providing nesting platforms for the animals.