Attractive for US investors

Countless overseas companies now play a major role in the economic landscape of Saxony-Anhalt

Saxony-Anhalt has an international focus. Even in terms of our economic landscape. Most of the direct investments from overseas come from the USA and have contributed quite considerably to the economic development of Saxony-Anhalt in the last two decades. In this way, international companies have developed, such as Dow Olefinverbund GmbH in Böhlen, Schkopau, Leuna and Teutschenthal, Dell GmbH in Halle (Saale), Guardian Thalheim GmbH in the district of Anhalt-Bitterfeld, HUFCOR Deutschland GmbH in Dessau-Roßlau, Mertik Maxitrol GmbH & Co. KG in Thale and many more.

In the last 20 years, over three billion Euros have been invested in the creation and preservation of about 15,000 jobs in Saxony-Anhalt in public-private partnership with American companies. Dow alone employs about 1,800 employees and 123 apprentices at its five Central German sites. The Central German sites – Böhlen, Schkopau, Leuna and Teutschenthal – are among the five largest within the Dow corporation. The company is also one of the largest providers of apprenticeships in the south of Saxony-Anhalt.

Dow continues a long tradition of manufacturing plastics and special chemicals in Central Germany. After the German reunification, the GDR-based chemical companies required extensive renovation and modernisation in order to become internationally competitive. Subsidies have been provided for traditional plastics chemistry as well as new technology and the maintenance and care of facilities. The products manufactured by Dow in Central Germany are the starting materials for a multitude of plastic products, adhesives and special applications in the automobile industry, communication technology, electronics industry, building and for the manufacture of hygiene products, among other things.

For example, since 2014, Dow has been producing a special solution for the microchip industry in Schkopau. This makes it possible to intelligently stack high-performance microchips in the smallest spaces. This is known as “chip packaging”. Production has also recently started on a product line in the Dow factory in Leuna on a new type of polyethylene, which is the starting point for many modern packaging coatings in the food industry, medicine and for the packaging of hygiene products.

Since the Olefinverbund became a 100% subsidiary of Dow Chemicals in 2000, the US investor has invested more than 800 million Euros in the further development of the Central German sites. Today, the factories are part of the industrial core of the new Federal states.

In Schkopau and Böhlen, Dow operates a 150-hectare industrial park (ValuePark®), consisting of 21 production and logistics companies, raw material suppliers and research and technology service providers. Since 1998, more than 1200 direct jobs have been created in the ValuePark®.

The “Dow subsidiary”, Wolff Cellulosics GmbH has also been in Bitterfeld since 2007. It has the world’s largest and most modern single system for manufacturing methylcellulose. The product is the starting material for dry mortar, plaster, tile adhesive and paints, among other things.

Since 2009, the global Dow Automotive Systems division has based its European centre for polyurethane and epoxy adhesives, together with aftermarket production in Schkopau. Special adhesives, tailored to meet the needs of specific car manufacturers, are manufactured here on the basis of polyurethane and epoxide. Together with BMW, intensive research has been carried out into new adhesive solutions for use in the BMW i3 – the electric car.

For successful commitment in Central Germany, the chemical company has recently been awarded in the USA with the GACC Award for Excellence in German American Business as an “Outstanding US Investor in Eastern Germany” by the German American Chamber of Commerce, GACC.

US Investors continue Central German industrial traditions

Since 1993, the Michigan-based entrepreneurial family Koskela has been committed to Thale in the Harz region. In doing so, it has ensured that the tradition of Steinle & Hartung, a machinery and fittings factory founded in Thale in 1877, can be continued with modern, quality, high-tech control and security components.

Together with American holding company Maxitrol Company, Mertik Maxitrol GmbH & Co. KG with its headquarters in Thale is among today’s global market leaders in the field of special gas pressure regulators, gas filters and other gas safety products. This includes modern smartphone and tablet controllers for gas, electric and wood chimneys.

HUFCOR Deutschland GmbH in Dessau-Roßlau is also a 100% subsidiary of an American company, HUFCOR Inc. in Janesville (Wisconsin, USA). Since 1997, HUFCOR Germany has produced mobile sound-absorbing partition walls and mobile glass walls for the German and European market in the Bauhaus town. In the past year and a half, HUFCOR states that it has invested over two million Euros in expanding the production site and creating ultra-modern workplaces.

Mobile partition walls from HUFCOR have been provided for the Gondwanaland tropical house in Leipzig, among other places. They are used here to separate the event area while providing a view over the artificial tropical landscape. Similar partition wall solutions, tailored to specific customer requirements, have also been created for Hall 1 of the Magdeburg Regional Trade Fair and for the shopping and service sector of the Halberstadt railway station.

Solar protection glass for the highest house in the world

Thanks to an American investor, Guardian Thalheim GmbH has reached for the sky in the truest sense of the word. Guardian develops and produces various glass products – including solar and technical glass with special anti-reflective and thermally insulating properties. The company has customers in Germany and throughout the whole world. For example, the solar protection glass for the facade of the highest house in the world, the 828-metre high Burj Khalifa in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), came from the Guardian factory in Thalheim in Saxony-Anhalt. The facade of the Elbe Philharmonic Hall on Hamburg’s harbour is also a product of Guardian, which was founded in Tahlheim in 1996 and currently employs 300 people who produce about 600 tonnes of flat glass every day.

American investors value the locational advantage of Saxony-Anhalt, right in the heart of Europe. A well-developed transport infrastructure and an internationally attractive academic landscape, which provides well-qualified employees, are also advantages which speak in favour for further foreign investments in Saxony-Anhalt.

Caption: Dow Olefinverbund GmbH
Author: Uwe Seidenfaden