Raw materials network: Key success factor in global competition

A major pillar of the success and attractiveness of the chemical industry sites on the Lower Rhine is the network between the three Chemparks in Krefeld-Uerdingen, Dormagen and Leverkusen. The tight integration of the facilities within the individual Chemparks also offers ideal conditions in the bitter competition for market share. The reliable supply of the plants with raw materials, such as hydrogen, natural gas, carbon monoxide and nitrogen, and various forms of energy is a must in order to compete internationally.
Covestro Manufacturing Site in Dormagen
Dormagen, one of three Covestro sites on the Lower Rhine
In many respects, Covestro’s North Rhine-Westphalian sites already work in a tight network. Examples include pipelines, transport routes and means, utilities, fire protection and other safety services, as well as medical care. The optimal interplay between these cost, quality and safety-relevant competitive factors is the decisive difference when choosing a production site in the chemical industry. The companies located here are the beneficiaries of this efficient network. The network is the guarantor of your competitiveness.

In the raw materials network, pipelines are responsible for the basic supply of industrial-scale production plants. Experience shows them to be a reliable and long-term solution, as well as the best means of transportation for many liquid and gaseous substances with respect to environmental and safety aspects. Furthermore, the ecological impact of laying a pipeline is very low, and the lines are well protected in the ground, thus minimizing the risk of accidents.

Covestro has been operating a variety of pipelines for years, including carbon monoxide (CO) pipelines. CO is one of the key basic substances for the chemical industry. Production capacity for CO at the Covestro site in Krefeld-Uerdingen will not be sufficient to meet long-term demand. The company is therefore planning to supply the facilities there with CO by means of a pipeline running from Chempark Dormagen, where sufficient CO capacity is available. The comprehensive safety concept for the new carbon monoxide pipeline exceeds statutory requirements. For example, it will be operated at a pressure of no more than 13.5 bar, even though it has a design pressure of 100 bar and has been tested at pressures in excess of 200 bar. This pipeline, which is 67 kilometers long, has been technically completed, but has not yet commenced operation due to legal disputes and regulatory requirements.

Additional information about the carbon monoxide pipeline between Dormagen and Uerdingen is available here (only in german).

A CO line between the Dormagen and Leverkusen sites has been in operation for years. It runs along the left bank of the Rhine, crossing under the river at Cologne-Merkenich in a utility tunnel, also known as a culvert. The culvert contains a total of ten pipes and due to its design cannot be enlarged. This harbors great disadvantages for the future, including for maintenance. Therefore, the culvert has now been replaced by a new one: The new culvert has an outer diameter of three meters, it can be walked on, maintenance or re-fitting can be done inside. The unit was approved by the authorities and received operations permission in 2017.

Additional information on the new culvert is available here.