In fiscal year 2013, some three billion Euros, or 24 percent of corporate sales, were generated in Germany, where Evonik employs approximately 21,000 people. With its investments in Germany, Evonik benefits from highly qualified and motivated employees, proximity to key customers, excellent research facilities and the existing integrated production networks at its sites. "Ensuring good investment conditions in Germany is the joint task of politics and business. This is where I hope for more support for industry, for example through more reliability and common sense when it comes to managing the turnaround in energy policy or a modern research funding," emphasized Engel.
The Group is about to start up a new facility for functionalized polybutadienes in Marl, Evonik's largest site worldwide with almost 7,000 employees. The material is mainly used for sealing compounds in double-glazed windows and for adhesives. The investment volume was in the mid double-digit million euro range. Important considerations for the site selection included proximity to key customers and the excellent infrastructure of the Marl Chemical Park.
A few weeks ago, a partial facility for crosslinking reagents, which have applications in solar panels and other industries, went into operation in Wesseling near Cologne. The investment volume was in the lower double-digit million euro range. The new production site was integrated into an existing facility, which produces one of the source materials.
Other Evonik investments include new capacities for C4-based products in Marl, the expanded specialty silicon production in Essen, and the construction of a new plant for polymeric dispersion agents at the same site. The company is also planning a number of smaller capacity expansions, including for PA12 in Marl. Furthermore, Evonik is investing in modernizing and maintaining the Group's domestic sites.
Research & development in Germany is also receiving further boosts. A new research center for silanes is under construction in Rheinfelden and Evonik scientists working on active principle formulations for parenteral drugs recently moved into new laboratory spaces in Darmstadt. Meanwhile, a new application technology center for the tire industry was opened in Wesseling, the world's largest production site for precipitated silicas. Precipitated silicas are an important component of low rolling-resistance tires. A state-of-the-art research center with focus on cosmetics was opened in Essen in mid-2013. "Successful research and development are the backbone of Evonik, and Germany plays a special role in our global research network," emphasized Engel.