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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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6932 news items

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 06:40:58 -0700

Im Ukraine-Konflikt fanden bereits 12 Männer aus Leunas Partnerstadt Nowowolynsk den Tod. Der Stadtrat von Leuna will die Hinterbliebenen nun finanziell unterstützen. Der Vorschlag einen Hilfskonvoi zu schicken, wurde wieder verworfen.

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
Thu, 23 Jul 2015 01:57:45 -0700

Ulrich Wendt ist schon seit mehr als 25 Jahren Meister des Bäckerhandwerks. Nach einer Auszeit in Spanien kaufte er das Anwesen der Eltern in Leuna-Göhlitzsch zurück. Im August eröffnet Wendt nun eine neue Filiale in der Kliapassage in Merseburg.
Business Wire (press release)
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 08:00:00 -0700

The key companies in this market are Hexion Inc. (U.S), Dow Chemical Company (U.S), Huntsman Incorporation (U.S), Leuna-Harze Gmbh (Germany), SIR Industriale Spa Zaklady Chemiczne Organika-Sarzyna SA (Italy) and Spolek Pro Chemickou a Hutni ...


Sun, 05 Jul 2015 20:00:00 -0700

Es ist egal, wo Sie in Sachsen, Thüringen oder Sachsen-Anhalt tanken: Benzin und Diesel kommen fast immer aus der "Total Raffinerie" bei Leuna. Das Unternehmen produziert für nahezu alle großen Tankstellenbetreiber und ist eine der umsatzstärksten ...


Sun, 19 Jul 2015 20:24:55 -0700

WESSELING. "Die Idee der Partnerschaft zwischen Leuna und Wesseling lebt auch 25 Jahre nach der Wiedervereinigung und der Unterzeichnung des Partnerschaftsvertrages immer noch. In diesem Zeitraum wurde viel erreicht; Leuna und Wesseling haben ...

Brühler Schlossbote

Brühler Schlossbote
Mon, 13 Jul 2015 22:07:01 -0700

Neben Leuna waren auch die Partnerstädte Pontivy und Traunstein beim Festakt im Rheinforum vertreten - von rechts Bürgermeister Erwin Esser mit dem 1. Beigeordneten Yann Lorcy aus Pontivy, Leunas Bürgermeisterin Dr. Dietlind Hagenau, Francois ...
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 06:07:30 -0700

The turnaround at the German acetone/phenol plant in Leuna, which belongs to Domo Caproleuna, is set to start this week and last until first week of August. This will partially overlap with maintenance works at Novapex's Roussillon plant. Article ...

Plastics News

Plastics News
Mon, 13 Jul 2015 07:03:45 -0700

Nylon 6 specialist Domo Chemicals of Leuna, Germany, acquired resin compounder and formulator Technical Polymers LLC of Buford, Ga., on June 30. Terms were withheld. The move to establish a significant U.S. foothold represents Domo's second major ...

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