Evonik's site in Herne is located in the centre of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia in the heart of the Ruhr region and close to our Marl and Essen facilities.
The facility is a key employer in the entire region and an economic engine for the town of Herne (population 160,000). Back in 1936 Friedrich Krupp began to build a plant in Herne to produce tar, gasoline and paraffins laying the foundation for Evonik's modern chemical site. Today, production of isophorone and isophorone derivatives are the main activities at the Herne site.
The products manufactured in Herne provide the essential raw materials for the chemical syntheses for products used in the coatings and plastics industries with a wide variety of other applications. For example, VESTAMIN® crosslinkers are used in heavy duty corrosion protection systems to provide highly durable, solvent-free industrial floor coatings, or in the high-performance composites used for the rotor blades of windmills. VESTASOL® products are used to produce especially brilliant coatings and printing inks and the high-performance plastics like polycarbonate used in the automotive industry. Finally, our VESTANAT® isocyanates are used for more environmentally friendly water-based polyurethane dispersions or for high performance polyurethane elastomers.
Bernd Caeners, production plant manager in Herne
My name is Bernd Caeners, I have a doctorate in chemistry and have been working for the company since 1990. At the Herne site, I have been responsible for 5 chemical plants and one infrastructure plant (incineration plant) as plant manager for many years.
My main tasks include ensuring safe plant operation in accordance with internal and external regulations (compliance), with the aim of manufacturing products and services in the quantity and quality required by the customer. A team of operational and technical experts is available to me for advice and support. My work is very varied, challenging, surprising and often exciting; no two days are alike.
What I appreciate about my work is that I can shape and advance many things myself. An essential part of this is working with a creative, experienced team that I can rely on blindly. Boredom never occurs; my work is characterized by constant learning, discovering new things and the daily joy of doing something meaningful.
The Herne site is a pearl of the chemical industry. Its roots go back to 1936 with the processing of materials from the mining industry ("black chemistry").
Today the Herne plant is the flagship of the production sites for paint raw materials.The heart of the plant is the isophorone chemistry, on the basis of which high-quality crosslinkers are produced. All colleagues in Herne are pulling together as soloists for their own areas of responsibility, but as a united orchestra for the site. Our credo is the compatibility of ESHQ, high plant efficiency and cost leadership. In this way we secure jobs for the future and generate a high value contribution for the company.
The special thing about the Herne location is its long history and the culture that has grown with it. Many employees come from the immediate vicinity or even the neighbourhood. This ensures a high level of employee loyalty to the plant and a high level of commitment to all work issues. The Herne location is a guarantee for secure and interesting jobs in what is now a green environment in the middle of the Ruhr area.