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      A hotbed of innovation

      Home base in Leverkusen

      The heart of Covestro beats in Leverkusen: it is where the company's headquarters are located and where it conducts research and handles production. Covestro's success story kicked off in 1937 with the discovery of the plastic polyurethane. Today, the company operates worldwide but maintains its home base in Leverkusen.

      Around 3,850 employees work for Covestro in Leverkusen in administration, research and production. They ensure safe, environmentally friendly and highly efficient operation with outstanding commitment and broad expertise. New technologies and processes are used in the large production facilities at the site. These help make processes even more efficient.

      At the same time, Covestro's innovations set new standards for sustainability – even beyond the company's own boundaries. Since 2015, Covestro has invested around 550 million euros in its plants in order to further ensure that Leverkusen remains a successful production site long-term.

      Covestro – A good neighbor

      Living together in harmony is very important to Covestro. This is why the company actively seeks out dialog and maintains close contacts with neighbors at its production sites. At Covestro, safety comes first. The company is dedicated to reducing risks for our employees and neighbors and to ensuring safe production processes. Additional information is available on the Chempark Leverkusen website.

      A hotbed of innovation

      Home base in Leverkusen

      The heart of Covestro beats in Leverkusen: it is where the company's headquarters are located and where it conducts research and handles production. Covestro's success story kicked off in 1937 with the discovery of the plastic polyurethane. Today, the company operates worldwide but maintains its home base in Leverkusen.

      Around 3,850 employees work for Covestro in Leverkusen in administration, research and production. They ensure safe, environmentally friendly and highly efficient operation with outstanding commitment and broad expertise. New technologies and processes are used in the large production facilities at the site. These help make processes even more efficient.

      At the same time, Covestro's innovations set new standards for sustainability – even beyond the company's own boundaries. Since 2015, Covestro has invested around 550 million euros in its plants in order to further ensure that Leverkusen remains a successful production site long-term.

      1

      employees

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      young professionals

      1 m.

      m.

      euros invested since 2015

      Alongside the other two NRW sites in Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen, the plant in Leverkusen represents around 30 percent of global production capacity of Covestro. The three locations have formed a site network since 2010. They are all located within 70 kilometers of one another and organize maintenance, infrastructure, logistics, warehousing and services. This results in more streamlined processes, more efficient production and better cost-competitiveness.

      Birthplace of high-tech plastics

      Leverkusen is also home to research laboratories and an upscaling plant. At the 3D laboratory, filaments, powders and resins for 3D printing are developed and tested. Everything started with one outstanding innovation. Around eight decades ago, chemist Otto Bayer discovered the plastic polyurethane in Leverkusen, a material that is now essential in many everyday applications.

      We use it everyday as a soft foam, in the form of mattresses, soft furniture and vehicle seats. As a rigid foam, it is used in home insulation to keep heat outdoors in the summer and indoors in the winter. It ensures that the food in our refrigerators stays fresh. Polyurethane also serves as the basis for the coatings, adhesives, and sealants required in many different sectors such as the automotive industry and the construction sector.

      Covestro's Leverkusen site specializes in these applications. In addition, production also focuses on manufacturing basic chemicals, such as chlorine, sodium hydroxide, and hydrogen, which serve as the precursors for 80 percent of the company's own products.

      Development of alternative raw materials
      Covestro has succeeded in manufacturing aniline entirely from renewable materials.

      Leverkusen, a hotbed of innovation, focuses on generating new ideas just like Covestro does as a whole. There, products and processes are continuously improved, developed, and tested under real-life conditions in collaboration with external partners and customers. The examples of our collaborative ventures, such as bio-based anilines, are manifold.

      Aniline is a true all-around performer in the chemical industry and an important raw material used in medications, dyes and plastics. Normally, it is produced from crude oil. However, working with an external partner, Covestro has now succeeded in manufacturing aniline entirely from renewable raw materials. If further testing is successful, one day this material could be used as an important component in manufacturing rigid polyurethane foam in a manner that is both climate and environmentally friendly.

      Soft polyurethane foam used in products like mattresses is another example of the company's innovations. A procedure was developed in Leverkusen which uses a foam component with up to 20 percent carbon dioxide (CO₂) instead of crude oil. This also protects the environment and saves resources. The neighboring plant in Dormagen operates a system that produces CO₂-based polyurethane precursors.

      Versatile raw materials for 3D printing

      3D printing is a pioneering technology with enormous potential. This method can be used to manufacture three-dimensional parts that are often highly complex in a single step. The process is used for rapid prototyping as well as for producing single high-value parts in many industrial sectors today. Industries that employ 3D printing include aerospace, biomedicine, automobiles and textiles.

      However, thus far, 3D printing has not been a good choice for series production of functional components. The technology is still too expensive and there are not enough construction materials available. After all, 3D printing has to fulfill multiple criteria at once, such as hardness, flexibility, transparency and heat resistance. Product designers worldwide continue to search for a versatile mix of materials.

      That’s where Covestro comes into play. The company runs its own 3D printing laboratory in Leverkusen. The expert team working there offers broad expertise and experience. They are developing new material solutions and testing them under real-world conditions together with partners. The team is enjoying some success – such as in its development of special 3D printed products made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). These can be used to 3D print shoes, for instance, that are made from only one single material. This greatly simplifies the recycling process at the end of the product's life cycle and represents a major bonus in terms of sustainability. This is just one reason Covestro is committed to continue advancing 3D printing. The goal is to market an even broader spectrum of industrial applications.

      Trendy sneakers made using a 3D printer.

      The new headquarters completed in the fall of 2020 demonstrates the importance of the Leverkusen site for Covestro. The building offers space for around 700 employees and allows them to work in excellent conditions. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, employees have had to move into the building on a staggered basis. To date, the building is not yet fully occupied and used by only part of the team.

      Gallery

      Leverkusen over the years
      History 2019
      2020
      Covestro turns five years old

      Covestro celebrates its five-year anniversary. The company can look back on a successful Group development.

      History 2019
      Georg Menges Award for Covestro CEO

      CEO Markus Steilemann receives the Georg Menges Award from the Institute of Plastics Processing at RWTH Aachen University. In doing so, the institute honors Steilemann's and Covestro AG's commitment to plastics as a sustainable material.

      History 2019
      2019
      Covestro increases group revenues once again

      Covestro records increased revenues for the third time in a row. Group revenues increased by 3.4% in 2018, reaching 14.6 billion euros.

      History 2018
      2018
      Covestro is listed on the DAX stock exchange

      Covestro AG was listed in Germany's leading stock index, the DAX, on March 19th, 2018.

      History 2015
      2015
      Covestro founded

      On September 1st, Bayer MaterialScience becomes a separate legal entity operating under the name Covestro. Covestro AG makes its debut on the stock market on October 6th.

      2004
      Independence of Bayer MaterialScience AG

      Bayer MaterialScience AG becomes a legally independent company during the restructuring of Bayer AG.

      1912-1937
      Polyurethane synthesis

      Leverkusen becomes Bayer’s headquarters. A group of researchers working with chemist Otto Bayer synthesized polyurethane for the first time in Leverkusen. The uses of the material are initially unclear. Consequently, industrial-scale production begins only years later.

      1891
      Bayer moves to Leverkusen

      Bayer purchases the alizarin red factory of Dr. Carl Leverkus & Sons, later adding land along the Rhine river to its holding. By doing so, the company secured space for expansion which was not available at its original Wuppertal headquarters.

      1861
      Founding of the city of Leverkusen

      Chemical company owner Carl Leverkus relocates his ultramarine blue dye factory from Wermelskirchen to the town of Wiesdorf. Later, alizarin red is produced as well. He calls the company-owned housing estate Leverkusen – and the name is transferred to the newly founded city in 1930.

      Covestro in Leverkusen

      Covestro – A good neighbor

      Living together in harmony is very important to Covestro. This is why the company actively seeks out dialog and maintains close contacts with neighbors at its production sites. At Covestro, safety comes first. The company is dedicated to reducing risks for our employees and neighbors and to ensuring safe production processes. Additional information is available on the Chempark Leverkusen website.

      More information on Covestro in Leverkusen

      Address:
      Covestro AG
      Chempark Leverkusen, Zentraler Besucherempfang
      Kaiser-Wilhelm-Allee 101–103
      51373 Leverkusen

      Phone: +49 214 6009 2000


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      Press contact

      Jochen Klüner

      Jochen Klüner

      Head of German and Site Communications

      Phone: +49 214 6009 3741

      jochen.kluener@covestro.com

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