Dream factory in Dormagen
Dormagen is the headquarters of the Managing Director of Covestro’s facilities in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). With 595 acres, it is Covestro's largest production site in North Rhine-Westphalia. Around 1,850 committed and experienced employees work at the site. They manufacturing precursor chemicals used in many everyday applications, such as furniture, sporting goods, car parts and personal ID cards. Covestro is setting new standards for efficiency and environmental sustainability.
euros invested since 2015
North Rhine-Westphalia is particularly important to the company. Together, the NRW sites in Dormagen, Leverkusen and Krefeld-Uerdingen represent around 30 percent of Covestro‘s global production capacity. The three sites form a site network, meaning that they jointly organize maintenance, infrastructure, logistics, warehousing and services. This results in more streamlined processes, more efficient production and better cost-competitiveness.
A colorful landmark for Dormagen
The Covestro plant facility in Dormagen is located directly along the Rhine. It is easy to find, partially due to the colorful piece of industrial art that looks like it’s made of toy building blocks. It was painted in high-visibility Covestro colors in 2017. The unique thing about the artwork is that it has a practical purpose, as it is also a 35-meter-high and 69-meter-long high-bay warehouse.
Every day, forklifts drive into and out of the warehouse, loading and organizing goods and products. Just like building blocks, all of the individual steps performed here join to create one harmonious overall picture. The factory building, designed by graffiti artist Martin Heuwold, symbolizes one thing above all: Covestro has the courage to implement new ideas. Raising the curtain on Covestro's largest production site in NRW.
ISCC Plus certification for Dormagen
The Dormagen site received ISCC Plus mass balance certification in 2022 (ISCC: International Sustainability and Carbon Certification). Customers can now choose from large product volumes manufactured from raw materials certified as renewable. The products are components for rigid and flexible polyurethane (PU) foams, coatings, adhesive raw materials, and thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU). The products made from sustainable raw materials have the same good quality and properties as their fossil counterparts.
The company can now help its customers achieve their sustainability goals with mass-balanced products. For Covestro, ISCC Plus certification is another milestone toward the circular economy. The materials manufacturer aims to become carbon neutral by 2035 and achieve net zero emissions for Scope 1 and Scope 2.
Competence center for specialty films
In the Specialty Films area, Covestro's employees manufacture polycarbonate films to be used in applications such as automotive interiors and medical technology. In addition, the products play a key role in ID documents like driver’s licenses or personal ID cards. Innovative specialty films from Covestro allow the integration of new safety features that make such documents even more resistant to forgery. Covestro opened the new film plant in Dormagen in 2017.
Over the years, Dormagen has established itself as a competence center for specialty films. Production facilities, an upscaling plant for film processing, a showroom, and research laboratories are all in close proximity. In order to meet the rising demand, Covestro has started up additional production lines for multi-layer, high-quality polycarbonate flat films in 2021.
The new production lines are equipped with state-of-the-art technology. As a result, Covestro can now supply its customers even faster and in higher quality. The project is part of a global program to expand film capacities with a total investment of more than €100 million. Around 30 new jobs have been created to operate the new lines.
The Circular Economy starts in Dormagen
Covestro is harnessing carbon dioxide (CO₂) as a raw material on its “Dream Production” line at the Dormagen plant. There, an innovative process is used to manufacture a CO₂-based pre-product, called polyol. Its applications include polyurethane soft foams for mattresses and furniture, as well as bonding agents for sports flooring. Polyols contain up to 20 percent CO₂. This replaces the same quantity of crude oil, which was the raw material previously used in plastic production.
The new material, which Covestro manufactures in Dormagen under the name cardyon®, is a true all-around performer. Textiles are the first application for the product. Covestro has now succeeded in manufacturing elastic CO₂-based fibers with cardyon® alongside its partners. These fibers can be used, for instance, in stockings and medical textiles, thereby replacing commonly available elastic fibers manufactured from crude oil.
Covestro wants to expand research on other projects related to construction, driving and cooling with CO₂. The goal is to save even more fossil raw materials, while manufacturing as many kinds of CO₂-based plastics as possible. Raw materials made in Dormagen are helping to save resources and foster the Circular Economy.
Resource-saving soft foam production (TDI)
Another focus of production at the site in Dormagen is the raw material toluene diisocyanate (TDI). Together with polyols, it forms the basis for polyurethane soft foam. TDI has been produced in Dormagen since 1964, meaning the material has a long tradition at the site. The production capacity for TDI operations in Dormagen is sufficient to produce 200,000 mattresses every day. Additionally, manufacturers of vehicle seats, shoulder pads, and bra cups also use the liquid raw material TDI to produce soft foams.
A modern, large-scale TDI facility capable of producing 300,000 tons of per year has been in operation in Dormagen since 2015. Thanks to gas phase technology developed by Covestro, it reduces energy-use by up to 60 percent and requires up to 80 percent less solvents in production, making it both efficient and environmentally friendly.
Recyclable TPU solutions for truck tarps
The FREITAG company is a real recycling king. The Swiss company produces trendy bags and accessories from used materials – especially from discarded truck tarps. But why not think one step further? FREITAG thought so too and set the next innovation in motion. Together with Covestro and other partners, the company is developing a truck tarp that can be reprocessed as often as desired into new products, even after a long life as a bag. Thus, it is to become part of a new endless cycle. One advantage is that the carbon footprint is significantly lower than when the bags were previously disposed of at the end of their useful life.
Covestro, together with tarp manufacturer Heytex, is supplying the suitable raw materials for the ambitious project. At its site in Dormagen, the materials manufacturer is developing a material solution based on thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The product meets the high requirements: after all, the materials used for truck tarps must be fully recyclable, meaning that they can not only be recycled but also used again and again in new products.
When used as truck tarps, the first step is to withstand the challenging conditions of transit routes in Europe. To do this, it has to be water- and dirt-repellent. After that, the tarp is to be used in high-quality and durable FREITAG bags, and finally it must be possible to chemically break it down again into its components, which then serve as the basis for new products.
Innovative coating raw materials
Covestro produces raw materials for high-quality coatings at its own LPD operation (Lack Polyisocyanate Dormagen). These serve as the basis for coatings that offer not only great-looking color, but are also hard and elastic at the same time. This protects the surfaces of buildings and steel structures against corrosion. Such coatings can extend the lifespan of bridges, airplanes and wind turbines.
All of this proves that Dormagen is an innovative production and research location that stands out for its enormous diversity. Covestro's innovative technologies and processes continue to set new standards for sustainability. By doing so, the company is making a key contribution to global climate and environmental protection. It is also fulfilling its mission and purpose: to make the world a brighter place.
Covestro in Germany
Covestro – A good neighbor
Living together in harmony is very important to Covestro. This is why the company actively seeks out dialog and maintains close contacts with neighbors at its production sites. At Covestro, safety comes first. The company is dedicated to reducing risks for our employees and neighbors and to ensuring safe production processes. Additional information is available on the Chempark Dormagen website.