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Coat of arms of Leuna
Coat of arms
Leuna   is located in Germany
Coordinates: 51°19′N 12°01′E / 51.317°N 12.017°E / 51.317; 12.017Coordinates: 51°19′N 12°01′E / 51.317°N 12.017°E / 51.317; 12.017
Country Germany
State Saxony-Anhalt
District Saalekreis
Municipal assoc. Leuna-Kötzschau
 • Mayor Dietlind Hagenau
 • Total 83.41 km2 (32.20 sq mi)
Population (2012-12-31)[1]
 • Total 13,981
 • Density 170/km2 (430/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 06237
Dialling codes 03461
Vehicle registration SK
Website www.leuna-stadt.de

Leuna is a town in the Saalekreis, Saxony-Anhalt, eastern Germany, south of Merseburg and Halle. It is known for the Leunawerke (English: Leuna works), at 13 km2 one of the biggest chemical industrial complexes in Germany,[2] where a very wide range of chemicals and plastics is produced. In 1960, the town's population was nearly 10,000, but high unemployment rates and poor living conditions, including pollution from nearby industries, has caused significant outward migration. Before the 31 December 2009 incorporation of neighbouring municipalities, its population had sunk to 6670.


View from Bad Dürrenberg


The first chemical plant in Leuna was built in 1916 by BASF, and produced ammonia, at first for use in the manufacture of explosives and, after 1919, fertilizers. The site was chosen for its proximity to lignite (brown coal) mines; the chemical plants at the site were based mainly on syngas (hydrogen and carbon monoxide). In 1920, the Leuna plant was commissioned for the commercial hydrogenation of lignite,[3] and production began on April 1, 1927.[4] The site (property of IG Farben after 1926) was rapidly expanded in the 1920s and 1930s, with plants producing methanol, synthetic petrol derived from the hydrogenation of lignite, amines and detergents.[5]

World War II[edit]

The IG Farben Leuna works was headed by Heinrich Bütefisch[6] and was Nazi Germany's second largest synthetic oil plant and second biggest chemical operation. As such it was a prime target for the Allied bombing offensive against German oil production. Leuna was the first plant to test the Bergius process that synthesized oil products from lignite (brown coal tar in 1944).[7] Leuna covered three square miles of land with 250 buildings, including decoy buildings outside the main plant, and employed 35,000 workers (including 10,000 prisoners and slave laborers). The 14th Flak Division responsible for protecting Leuna had 28,000 troops, 18,000 RAD personnel, 6,000 male and 3,050 female auxiliaries, 900 Hungarian and Italian 'volunteers', 3,600 Russian Hiwis, and 3,000 others, thus making up a total of 62,550 persons.[8] More than 19,000 of Leuna's workers were members of the air raid protection organization which operated over 600 radar-directed guns (the fire-fighting force consisted of 5,000 men and women). A total of 6,552 bomber sorties over 20 Eighth Air Force and 2 RAF attacks dropped 18,328 tons of bombs on Leuna.[9] As the most heavily defended industrial target in Europe, Leuna would become so dark from flak, German smoke pots, and exploding oil tanks that "we had no idea how close our bombs came to the target." (Tom Landry, B-17 co-pilot and later Dallas Cowboy coach). On clear days, only 29% of the bombs aimed at Leuna landed inside the plant gates; on radar raids the number dropped to 5.1%. During the first raid of the Oil Plan, 126 Leuna workers were killed. However, after defenses were increased, only 175 additional workers were killed in 21 subsequent raids. Leuna bombing from May 12, 1944 to April 5, 1945 cost the Eighth Air Force 1,280 airmen. In three separate attacks by the Eighth, 119 planes were lost and not one bomb fell on the Leuna works.[10] The Eighth Air Force also dropped 12,953 tons of explosives on nearby Merseburg.

For a sortable list of air operations against Leuna, see Oil Campaign of World War II.

Ray Bowden Merseburg: Blood, Flak & Oil. A study of the USAAF daylight air raids against Leuna with detailed analysis sourced from official records and veterans' accounts. See www.usaaf-noseart.co.uk for fuller details.


Leuna-Werke in 1991

After partial destruction in World War II and shipment of several plants to the Soviet Union as war reparations, the Leuna site was gradually rebuilt and further expanded, as the "VEB Leuna-Werke Walter Ulbricht". In the 1950s an oil refinery was built, which processed Russian crude oil. This offered the opportunity to produce a whole range of oil-based chemicals and plastics.

Since Reunification[edit]

After German reunification in 1990, the Leuna works were divided into several smaller companies that were sold to a.o. Total S.A. (which built a completely new oil refinery in Leuna), BASF, Linde AG, and Belgian DOMO Group. Common utilities for the companies are provided by InfraLeuna.[11] QUINN Chemicals invested in a plant to manufacture methylmethacrylate (MMA) but construction has been put on ice as of January 2009 due to 'heavy cost overruns' and 'deteriorating market conditions'.[12]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leuna — Please support Wikipedia.
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8471 news items

www.unquote.com (subscription)
Mon, 17 Aug 2015 04:09:46 -0700

VR Equitypartner and BIP Investment Partners have acquired a majority stake in Leuna Tenside, a German surfactants and chlorinated paraffins producer. The proprietary deal was initiated by the vendor, and was sourced through a personal contact between ...

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 05:11:15 -0700

Ausbildung Angehende Industriemechaniker in Leuna begrüßt. 24.08.2015 14:07 Uhr. Nach der Begrüßung im Kulturhaus ging es für die angehenden Industriemechaniker bereits in die Werkstatt, in der ihnen Dieter Schwab, Teamleiter der Ausbildung Metall ...

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
Fri, 14 Aug 2015 05:27:26 -0700

Die Leuna Tenside GmbH mit ihren 116 Beschäftigten hat neue Eigentümer. Die Frankfurter Beteiligungsgesellschaft VR Equitypartner GmbH und der Investor BIP aus Luxemberg haben die Mehrheit an dem Unternehmen erworben. Am 12. August wurde ...
Thu, 20 Aug 2015 05:01:14 -0700

Die Frankfurter Beteiligungsgesellschaft VR Equitypartner und die luxemburgische Gesellschaft BIP Investment haben jeweils 50 Prozent an dem Chemieunternehmen Leuna-Tenside von dem bisherigen Eigner Dr. Kiril Mateew erworben. Er hatte das ...

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 08:11:36 -0700

Sollte es allerdings doch einmal zu einem schwerwiegenderen Störfall kommen, so ist man in Leuna vorbereitet, wie der Geschäftsführer des Standortdienstleisters, Christof Günther erklärte. „Die Werkfeuerwehr ist mit modernster Spezialtechnik ausgestattet.

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
Mon, 10 Aug 2015 02:57:47 -0700

Am Montagmorgen führte die Saale bei Leuna noch 40 Zentimeter Wasser. Am Mittwoch, 6 Uhr, waren es nur noch 32 Zentimeter. Der Trend bis zum Wochenende ist fallend. (BILD: Wölk). Von Michael Bertram. Die anhaltende Trockenheit und Hitze hat den ...

International GYMNAST Magazine Online

International GYMNAST Magazine Online
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 02:33:45 -0700

She continued to paint and show her artwork, and in February exhibited 70 of her paintings and scultupres at a gallery in Leuna, Germany. Zuchold's husband,former Leipzig cyclist Dieter Zuchold, died in February 2014, aged 77. This summer Zuchold ...


Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:48:17 -0700

Noch im Februar 2015 hatte sie eine Ausstellung im Kulturhaus Leuna mit Bildern und Plastiken gestaltet. Erika Zuchold wurde am 19. März 1947 in Lucka geboren. Sie trainierte beim SC Leipzig und wurde 1970 zur DDR-Sportlerin des Jahres gewählt.

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