Development during war time
In the late 1930s, when Röhm GmbH greatly expanded production of PLEXIGLAS®, space in the main factory in Darmstadt was quickly exhausted. Company management decided then to build a new production location and in 1942 found a suitable piece of land in Worms, immediately next to the Rhine and very close to Reichsstrasse, No. 9. The good road, rail and water connections were the deciding factors in favor of Worms. It was intended to use the 80,000 m2 as a factory for methyl methacrylate manufacture, a component of PLEXIGLAS®.
The building works initially proceeded rapidly but were badly affected by the Allied bombing in 1943 and 1944 and finally came to a complete stop. The land remained a construction site and production could not begin as planned. After war’s end in 1945, the land was occupied by French troops.
A bumpy comeback
Finally, 10 years later, in 1955, it became possible to start production of acetone cyanohydrin and methyl methacrylate. Shortly after that, Röhm & Haas built a sulfuric acid factory; as the demand for PLEXIGLAS® started to rise again, so did the need for sulfuric acid, which was used to manufacture an intermediate product. In 1966, the first separation plant was built to deal with the waste acid generated. Today, there are three separation plants working on the Worms’ site. It now covers an area of 500,000 m2.
Today the product portfolio of the Evonik site Worms includes the monomer raw materials, which is needed for paints for example, and PLEXIGLAS® molding compound that is needed in large quantities for the manufacture of rear lights on passenger vehicles, for traffic signals and for uses in the construction and lamp industry.