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2017-11-29 | Speeches

Saltigo celebrates 50 years of pioneering chemistry

Address by Dr. Hubert Fink, Member of the Board of Management LANXESS AG

Welcome dear guests,
Lord Mayor Richrath,
Mr. Friedrich,
representatives of the press,
Mr. Derr,
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear colleagues,

On behalf of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG, I would like to welcome you all to the 50th anniversary celebrations of ZeTO.

The acronym ZeTO stands for Zentrales Technikum Organisch, the Central Organics Pilot Plant. ZeTO itself, however, stands for one thing above all else – chemistry of the finest caliber – and it has done so for 50 years, for half a century. The pilot plant first went into operation in 1967, and a lot has changed since then. Allow me to give you an example: when Willy Brandt heralded the age of color television in 1967, the technology was revolutionary and ground-breaking. 50 years later, analog cathode ray tube televisions are pretty much obsolete. If you compare them against virtual reality innovations, the countless streaming packages available and ultra-high-resolution smart TVs, they look pretty antiquated.

Over the past 50 years, technologies across all sectors and industries have undergone a relentless process of radical change. The chemicals industry is no exception. When it comes to innovation and market relevance, ZeTO has lost nothing of its appeal over all that time. Even today, ZeTO is one of the world’s most advanced and flexible multi-purpose production facilities for fine chemicals. And ZeTO still stands out thanks to its huge portfolio of technical equipment and synthesis technologies, which can be fused together in almost any combination.

How have we done it? By continuously investing. Our repeated reinvestment in the plant is a very clear signal of our commitment to it, a commitment that is also reflected in the approximately 60 million euros that LANXESS has invested in the wide-ranging Saltigo expansion and modernization project. We are also celebrating the successful conclusion of this project today.

To play in the world class of custom synthesis, like Saltigo does, a company has to be flexible and capable of adapting to constantly changing customer expectations and market conditions. In fact, that is absolutely crucial in custom manufacturing. Saltigo tackled this task with great determination from the outset and mastered it successfully. And ZeTO undoubtedly made a decisive contribution to this success.

Today, LANXESS has 74 sites in 25 countries, but our heart – the heart of LANXESS – beats in North Rhine-Westphalia, and in Leverkusen in particular. In fact, the success of LANXESS is inextricably interwoven with Leverkusen, our biggest and most important site worldwide.

With a workforce of 3,000, Leverkusen is the biggest production site run by LANXESS in terms of headcount. More than 1,100 of those employees work for Saltigo, and we’re also looking at the next generation. We will not miss out on the enormous potential that those young people can tap into for us. At present, we are training 300 young people at the CHEMPARK site here.

This year, and in the last two years, we have invested over 300 million euros in the Leverkusen site. A further 340 million euros has been ear-marked for the site over the next three years.

We have continuously optimized our technologies, never stopped driving up energy efficiency, extended plants, and integrated sustainable processes to protect the environment. This has allowed us to set benchmarks in Leverkusen.

In the 11 years since Saltigo was founded, we have invested a total of almost 300 million euros into the integrated production network  of Saltigo at the Leverkusen site, and more than a third of that has gone to ZeTO.

These are impressive numbers. They fill us with pride and underline just how important Leverkusen is to our group.

What’s more, our commitment does not end at the factory gates. Wherever we operate, our company does its bit for wider society.

As part of its educational initiative, LANXESS has equipped all the elementary schools in Leverkusen with experiment kits. Our goal is to support science teaching and encourage students to take an interest in the sciences. Laboratory days, plant visits and work experience for high-school students further support this initiative.  LANXESS is also working closely with the city authorities to help deliver language classes for refugees.

Our investment, our social engagement – all of that comes from complete confidence. We are completely confident in Leverkusen as a place to do business and we are confident that we will continue to be successful here moving forward – working in tandem with you, the city authorities and the entire workforce.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the employees here today for their untiring commitment and I would also like to thank the city of Leverkusen for the outstanding collaboration it has shown us.

We look forward to doing much more with you all.

LANXESS, Saltigo and Leverkusen,

they go together perfectly,

and they have a bright future together.

Thank you!


Frank Grodzki

Frank Grodzki
Head of General Press and Trade & Technical Press

Phone: +49 221 8885 4043

Fax: +49 221 8885 4994

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Ilona Kawan

Ilona Kawan
Spokesperson Trade and Technical Press

Phone: +49 221 8885 1684

Fax: +49 221 8885 4865

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