Due to a lack of space for major production expansions, the executive board of the former Degussa looked to neighboring Belgium for a new manufacturing site 50 years ago. The new site was to meet the steadily increasing demand for the silica AEROSIL® and the bleaching agents hydrogen peroxide and sodium perborate. The company had also started to manufacture cyanuric chloride. The executive board found the location it had been looking for in Antwerp, where the local port offered the necessary infrastructure and access to energy and primary raw materials. The proximity to other chemical companies and the option to set up integrated manufacturing networks were further arguments in favor of the location.
The 109-hectare production premises were built from October 1968 on an artificial island, and the first facility became operational after just 18 months of construction with 400 employees. Today, the Antwerp site employs over 1,000 people. It is Evonik’s largest site outside of Germany and home to the company’s biggest methionine plant worldwide.