Energy & Chemistry

The Cologne economic area is one of the most important locations in Germany for chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnical companies.

150 firms with approximately 70,000 employees provide the region with a profit of almost 18 billion Euro, half of it coming from exports. This accounts for one third of the collective profits for the manufacturing sector in the region. The most important companies in this field include Bayer AG, Exxon and Shell.

InfraServ Knapsack is the proprietor and operating company of the Chemical Industrial Park Knapsack. It is particularly businesses from the energy intensive sectors such as the chemicals and process industry which benefit from its »Plug & Play« concept. Investors develop their business model and, in doing so, benefit from an extensive range of services and infrastructure facilities as well as cost and investment advantages through shared services.

A container terminal, motorway and port connection, power plant capacity, steam and power supply, purification plants as well as disposal and telecommunications facilities form an extensive infrastructure and resource network. Of the 180 hectares industrial site which is developed, around 40 hectares are available.

A comprehensive mix of services, a network of expertise and experiences, flexible authorities and a tolerant neighbourhood, form the ideal conditions for industrial settlement in the heart of the Rhineland – the economic and cultural hub of Western Europe.


Profiles of the branches in detail


Rhineland Refinery




Rhineland Refinery

With a crude oil processing capacity of around 16.3 million tonnes per year, Rhineland Refinery is the biggest refinery in Germany. It is part of the world’s second biggest mineral oil group – the Royal Dutch Shell plc – yet it also has strong ties in the region, also beyond its business activities. The company was established in 2002 through the fusion of the former RWE DEA refinery in Wesseling and the Shell refinery in Cologne-Godorf. On an area of 440 hectares, the equivalent of around 550 football fields, the company employs 1,600 employees with 100 trainees. There are also up to 1,300 additional employees active in the plant from partner firms.

The petrol, diesel, jet fuels, liquid gases as well as heating fuels manufactured in the modern refinery complexes in Cologne-Godorf and Wesseling contribute to meeting Germany’s growing demand for fuel. With the annually produced 2.84 billion litres of petrol, more than 23 million people could travel by car, with an average consumption of eight litres per 100 kilometres, from Hamburg to Munich. In addition to this, the company also manufactures many important primary products for the chemicals industry.

As one of the most significant employers in the region, the refinery is, of course, also committed to training young people and a good relationship with its neighbours. It promotes local associations and citizens’ initiatives as well as educational projects for school classes and individual pupils. For this, the refinery employees offer their expertise in natural sciences and training skill. In this way the refinery aims to promote young people’s interest in natural sciences and technology and improve their perspectives for the future.

BioTech and Energy

The biotechnology and genetic engineering firms show particularly strong growth: in the past year, more than 50 biotechnology companies were established in North Rhine-Westphalia, with the state providing 50 million Euro in sponsorship.

These efforts are coordinated by the state initiative BioRiver Rhineland, which is a federation of the key players of the biotechnology and life sciences area along the rhine and presents the potentials of this leading biotech cluster worldwide.

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Enterprises in the petrochemical industry