Patrick Thomas, CEO of Bayer MaterialScience, presented the capital expenditure project within the context of the planned separation of the company from the Bayer Group. "MaterialScience is superbly positioned worldwide and optimally prepared to operate independently. Our products are in demand, our customers value our innovative power, and we are leaders in our markets," he said.
Thomas cited the gas-phase technology developed at Bayer as an example of the company's power to innovate. This technology makes TDI production in Dormagen particularly energy and resource efficient. "Compared with a conventional plant with the same capacity, the new facility will reduce energy consumption by up to 60 percent and require as much as 80 percent less solvent," Thomas explained. "This also gives us an important competitive advantage."
André van Broich, Chairman of the Bayer Works Council in Dormagen, also raised the subject of planning certainty. "The past few years, in particular, have been marked by deficits in both politics and society with respect to Germany as an industry location," he said. "We feel that we are in very good hands here, and we also received a lot of political support for the TDI plant. Unfortunately, that is not the case with other important projects."
Nevertheless, van Broich considers the new plant to be a good example of how North Rhine-Westphalia, as Europe's largest chemistry region, is also competitive internationally. "We have outstanding, highly qualified people with the skills required to operate high-tech facilities such as this one safely and efficiently, demonstrating once again that supporting vocational training pays off."
Some 20 new employees were hired as a result of the project. The project also safeguards existing upstream and logistics jobs at the site. The same applies to thousands of additional jobs associated with TDI production in the value-added chain both in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and throughout Germany.
Companies from Dormagen and the surrounding area will be providing maintenance, repair and technical services in and around the new plant throughout its operation. Furthermore, over 500 workers were involved at times during the construction phase. Many contractors came from the region, such as Keynes engineering from Neuss, plant manufacturer Quast based in the town of Eschweiler near Aachen, and Weber construction in Pulheim, which is outside of Cologne.