1990 - 1999 Changes in the Chemical Park Knapsack

1990

The last carbide furnace is shut down in June 1990. The carbide era ends after 82 years, during which time 13.5 million tons were produced. Carbide additive operations and the further processing of carbide to acetylene (Gashouse) and acetogen carbon black are also shut down.

The works gateways are opened admitting the general public to the chemical park for the first “Open Day”.

1991

In November a so called “Masse Polypropylen” plant is commissioned in Hürth, which has a production capacity of 160,000 tons per year.

On 1 July a new tank farm belonging to the trucking company Karl Schmidt GmbH & Co., Heilbronn is completed on the works site Hürth and connected to the new polypropylene plant. The production and distribution of a product is carried out by different companies on the Knapsack works site for the very first time.

A new crop protection product warehouse offers storage capacity for flammable crop protection substances.

The central waste water treatment facility Hürth gets an underground 6,000 cm3 reservoir for storing waste water resulting from malfunctions or incidents.

A pipeline bridge is constructed alongside the connecting road between the works sites Knapsack and Hürth and the former is dismantled.

Production in the wet process phosphoric acid plant is stopped on 1 July. In 25 years of production, 1.5 million tons of phosphoric acid were produced.

At the end of the year, production of the detergent phosphate sodium tripolyphosphate ceases (NTPP, Thermphos). In the 35 years of production a total of 5.2 million tons of product were manufactured.

Phoban production is discontinued. Large parts of the closed carbide plant and the power plant, which was built in 1917, as well as the entire calcium carbonate and coke facility are demolished.

1992

Elemental phosphorus production is discontinued in Knapsack in April. The phosphate sintering plant and the last of the operational phosphorus furnaces (nr. 3) are shut down. A total of 1.9 million tons of phosphor were produced in Knapsack.

NThe company Uhde not only built their Vlissingen phosphorus production plant in line with Knapsacks know-how, but they also constructed plants in Tschimkent in Kazakhstan as well as in Kunming in South China using the same technology.

A recycling facility for the processing of used and sorted polypropylene waste goes into production at the end of the year. It has a capacity of 5,000 tons per annum. Furthermore, two granulation lines begin operations for the production of polypropylene compounds.

1993

A new form of business is created with the founding of the Vinnolit GmbH (Ltd.), a joint venture between Hoechst and Wacker. It includes the PVC plant on the works site Hürth, Wacker’s PVC plant in Cologne-Merkenich and the PVC activities in Gendorf (Hoechst) and Burghausen (Wacker).

On 31 December 1993 ferrosilicon production comes to an end on the works site Knapsack. The works own air splitting facility is shut down at the same time.

Dr. Horst Schüddemage becomes the new manager of the Knapsack works on 1 May 1993.

1994

A joint venture between Hoechst (60%) and Schering (40%) is started creating the Hoechst Schering AgrEvo GmbH. All of Hoechst’s crop protection activities are included in this business venture. Also included are the 3 Knapsack plants PSM 1, PSM 2 and PSM 3 as well as their consignment unit.

On 1 February 1994 a new works structure comes into effect that corresponds with the restructuring of Hoechst into business units.

The structural change from Works Knapsack of the Hoechst AG (corporation) to an open chemical park is constructively supported by the workers councils.

The chlorine hostalen plant, the hostaphos plant and the manganese dioxide plant on the works site Hürth are demolished. The carbide plant, the acetylene production plant and the stack of the former power plant on the works site Knapsack are torn down as well. The old pipeline bridge running between the two works is also removed.

On 1 September 1994 the layered silicate facility (SKS 6 plant) goes into operation. Due to a defective outlet air filter of the spray tower, a sodium silicate emission occurs.

1995

On 1 January 1995 the new works structure is adopted and the further development of the business fields and business units at Hoechst is adjusted accordingly. Service level agreements regulate the cooperation of operative units and service units. Production related services including technical, trade and business services are integrated into the Hoechst production unit system.

The dicalcium phosphate plant and the phosphorus purification facility are shut down. The previously closed phoban, ferrosilicon and electrode mass and wet phosphoric acid production plants are demolished.

1996

The opening of a waste disposal area for the Hoechst inland group to meet their own expanded needs and the transfer of the waste water treatment facility to the Abwasser Gesellschaft Knapsack GmbH (Wastewater Company Knapsack Ltd.) takes place.

Expansion of capacity for the so called “Masse Polypropylen” plant to relieve bottlenecks.

Silafluofen and Formentanat are two new crop protection products being manufactured by AgrEvo.

1997

Reorganization of the Works Knapsack of Hoechst AG into the Chemical Park Knapsack:

Spinning off of the operative units and works services into independent companies

n 4 February the company InfraServ GmbH & Co. Knapsack KG is recorded in the Commercial Registry in Brühl. InfraServ Verwaltungs GmbH in Frankfurt, a full subsidiary of Hoechst AG, is a partner with unlimited liability. Targor GmbH, Hoechst AG, Celanese GmbH, Clariant GmbH and Hostalen Polyethylen GmbH are limited partners.

Ownership of property and buildings on site are transferred by Hoechst AG to InfraServ Knapsack.

Founding of the InfraServ GmbH & Co Deponie KG

On 1 July specialized chemical production is transferred to the Swiss company Clariant AG (corporation), chemical production goes to the American company Celanese GmbH (Ltd.). Polypropylene production is included in the joint venture between BASF/ Hoechst, Targor GmbH (Ltd.) and the polyethylene production trades under the name Hostalen Polyethylene GmbH (Ltd.).

1998

On 1 January 1998 Hoechst is no longer operative in Knapsack. Their works services employees are transferred to InfraServ Knapsack.

The founding of the Chemical Park Knapsack and InfraServ Knapsack. The end of the Hoechst era.

Knapsack stands for a new model working in cooperation with independent companies: internationally operative chemical companies and regional service providers.

The pentasulfide plant is spun off by Celanese GmbH (Ltd.) on 1 January 1998 and it changes hands going to Thermphos GmbH (Ltd.), which is the German branch of Thermphos International BV in Vlissingen.

At the end of the year the suspension polypropylene plant of Targor GmbH (Ltd.) is shut down. The same amount of polypropylene is produced in an optimized mass polypropylene plant.

The renovation of the Chemical Park Knapsack’s administration building comes to a successful close.

1999

The Hostalen Polyethylen GmbH (Ltd.) is spun off going to the Elenac GmbH (Ltd.), a joint venture between BASF and SHELL.

Inorganic production is spun off by Celanese GmbH and becomes an independent company called Vintron GmbH (Ltd.). This includes inorganic salt electrolysis, direct chlorination, oxychlorination, and ethylene chloride splitting.

The French company, Acatel, took over the field of high temperature superconductors, which had been developed by Aventis Research and Technologies. The Knapsack research group is reinforced by the yet remaining Hoechst activities.

The initiative ChemCologne is founded in February. The organization is supported by the federal state government of North Rhine-Westphalia. The Chemical Park Knapsack, Bayer AG (corporation), other chemical companies in the region, the University of Cologne and the Employers’ Association agree on a joint marketing plan in order to develop the business potential of the Cologne region.

The division of Hoechst AG is completed in October. The pharmaceuticals sector and the crop protection sector merge with Rhône Poulenc becoming the new Aventis S.A., headquartered in Straßburg. The subdivision Aventis Crop Science, headquartered in Lyon, is responsible for crop protection business and takes over activities previously carried out by AgrEvo GmbH in the Chemical Park Knapsack.

Industrial chemical activities are centralized in the new Celanese AG (corporation). The following companies in the Chemical Park Knapsack belong to Celanese AG (corporation):

Celanese Europe GmbH (100 %) production: acetaldehyde, acetic acid, acetic acid hydride Vintron GmbH (100 %) production: chlorine, sodium hydroxide, hydrogen, 1, 2- dichloroethane, oxychlorination, vinyl chloride Vinnolit Kunststoff GmbH (50 %) production: polyvinylchloride Targor GmbH (50 %) production: polypropylene ThermPhos Deutschland GmbH (100 %) production: phosphor pentasulfide

The InfraServ Verwaltungs GmbH in Frankfurt, which regulates management of the chemical park operator InfraServ Knapsack, becomes a 100% subsidiary of Celanese AG and the partnership shares of InfraServ Knapsack owned by the Hoechst AG are transferred to Celanese AG.

Dr. Horst-Dieter Schüddemage

ENERGY SUPPLY

The reliable and economical supply of sufficient energy is one of the most important prerequisites for the chemical industry. The chemical park operator InfraServ Knapsack provides the manufacturing companies with the necessary energies in the form of electricity and process steam.

The continuous main load of the energy supply is borne by the refuse-derived fuel (RDF) power plant of E.ON Energy from Waste, where up to 300,000 tons of refuse-derived fuel are thermally utilized every year. This service is complemented by the combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant of the Norwegian energy company Statkraft. With 800 MW of installed capacity it is one of the largest CCGT power plants in Germany. A further combined gas turbine power plant with capacity of 400 MW is currently under construction. The energy supply of the Chemiepark Knapsack is thus guaranteed, also at peak load time. 

ENERGY SUPPLY

The reliable and economical supply of sufficient energy is one of the most important prerequisites for the chemical industry. The chemical park operator InfraServ Knapsack provides the manufacturing companies with the necessary energies in the form of electricity and process steam.

The continuous main load of the energy supply is borne by the refuse-derived fuel (RDF) power plant of E.ON Energy from Waste, where up to 300,000 tons of refuse-derived fuel are thermally utilized every year. This service is complemented by the combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant of the Norwegian energy company Statkraft. With 800 MW of installed capacity it is one of the largest CCGT power plants in Germany. A further combined gas turbine power plant with capacity of 400 MW is currently under construction. The energy supply of the Chemiepark Knapsack is thus guaranteed, also at peak load time.