New factories, new markets
After only 18 months of construction, the first manufacturing facility at the new Degussa works in Antwerp started operation in April. The site has grown consistently since then and today, is home to eleven production facilities of Evonik Industries, including the world’s largest plant for the essential amino acid Methionine®.
Th. Goldschmidt Products Corp. in White Plains, New York, was the overseas Goldschmidt marketing company to start operating post 1945. In 1980 the company started its own production in the U.S. in Hopewell, Virginia.
BASF AG, Ludwigshafen, acquired the stake belonging to the American stakeholders of Röhm & Haas GmbH, Darmstadt. These had previously belonged to co-founder Otto Haas and his family. Haas, who died in 1960, had already opened a branch of the Darmstadt Company in the U.S. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1909. This branch operated as a separate company firming Rohm & Haas Co. since 1917.
Th. Goldschmidt AG set up a new plant for silicone emulsions (SiEm plant) on the eastern site of its Essen works. The manufacturing plant for organomodified siloxanes was also expanded. The SiEm plan is still going strong after 40 years and is an important part of today’s Essen/Goldschmidtstraße site of Evonik Industries.
At the new Degussa metal works in Wolfgang, on the site now occupied by the Wolfgang Industrial Park, initial partial production commenced. Step-by-step all the domestic plants for the extraction of precious metals were consolidated there. The metal works, at that time the largest of its kind in Europe, was sold to the Norddeutsche Affinerie, Hamburg, in August 2000.
Röhm GmbH, Darmstadt, supplied 80,000 m2 of PLEXIGLAS® panels for the roofing of the Olympic Stadium and for other sports venues in the Munich Summer Olympics, while Th. Goldschmidt AG contributed large volumes of protective construction materials. The characteristic tent-type roof is still a distinctive landmark in the Bavarian capital. In the same year Röhm GmbH purchased a large industrial site in Worms, which adjoined the existing company site. The production of PLEXIGLAS® molding materials was set up on the site. Previously this activity had been carried out at the company's main location in Darmstadt.
Degussa started construction of a large new chemical works in the Gulf of Mexico, in Mobile, Alabama. Along with it, it founded the U.S. subsidiary Degussa Alabama Inc.
At the Essen works of Th. Goldschmidt AG, the first of what are now four polyether plants came on line. In conjunction with a further stage of expansion of the OS plant (for organo-modified siloxanes), the next of which followed in 1977, Goldschmidt further expanded the silicone chemicals plants at today’s Essen/Goldschmidtstraße site of Evonik Industries.
With the founding of Degussa China Ltd., Hong Kong, for the Hong Kong, China and Macau markets, Degussa further expanded its operations in the Far East.
Chemische Werke Hüls AG in Marl started production of MTBE (Methyl-tert.-butyl-ether), a base product used in manufacturing lead-free gasoline. Today the product is manufactured and marketed under the name DRIVERON® by OXENO Olefinchemie GmbH, a holding of Evonik Industries AG.
Following the loss of the former subsidiary of Röhm GmbH in the USA after the First World War, the company regained a foothold in the U.S. by means of a joint venture with the American Cynamide Company. This company, CYRO Industries, now produces monomers, polymers, molding materials and semi finished products.
As a result of the growing demand for stabilizers for PU foams in South America, Th. Goldschmidt AG started its own production in Guarulhos near Sao Paulo, Brazil. In the 1970s Guarulhos also started manufacturing chemical and metal products for the former Degussa. These sites established the basis of the Brazilian activities of Evonik Industries, which continue to be mainly concentrated in the Sao Paulo metropolitan area.
VEBA AG in Dusseldorf increased its stake in Chemische Werke Hüls AG to 87.4 percent. Hüls AG was subsequently integrated into VEBA as the chemicals sector. In 1985 VEBA also acquired the remaining shares in Hüls, which had been held by outside shareholders.
In Frankfurt’s town center, at the original headquarters of the former Degussa, the old separating works, still locally known as “The Mint,” was demolished. In the years that followed a new administrative building was erected on the same site. The demolition of the old separating works marked the end of the industrial production era of the former Degussa at its old headquarters in Frankfurt. The site in the Frankfurt city center was closed in 2010.
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