At the end of the sixties the demand for certain Evonik products increased, namely hydrogen peroxide (bleaching and oxidizing agent), sodium perborate (bleaching agent), cyanuric chloride (starters for agrochemicals and optical brighteners for detergents, among others) plus AEROSIL (optimizes the properties of coatings, pastes, powders and paints).
To meet this demand the first large production facility of Evonik outside Germany was established. Antwerp was chosen because of the many locational advantages. The location in the port, the existing transport infrastructure, the available place and the sufficient pool of qualified technicians were important benefits. The construction of our production site of 109 hectares started in October 1968 on an artificially reclaimed island between the Scheldt river and the Antwerp harbor, Europe’s second-largest industrial port.
The expansion of our site in Antwerp progressed very rapidly. After a build-up of only 18 months the first production plant was taken into service. After the official inauguration on October 7, 1970, our site grew steadily. The hydrocyanic acid plant was completed, followed by facilities for hydrogen peroxide, sodium perborate, cyanuric chloride and AEROSIL®. The necessary periphery was built up very quickly, because there was a pipeline network for raw materials and energy.
Together with other chemical and petrochemical companies also located there, Antwerp becomes the most important chemicals site in Europe, and the world’s second-largest after Houston in Texas.