The chemical industry in NRW
  2. Industries in NRW
  3. Chemical industry

The chemical industry in NRW

North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany's principal chemical industry location. Chemical enterprises based in NRW generate approximately one third of the industry's total sales revenues in Germany. NRW stands out on account of its first-class scientific research infrastructure and special blend of SMEs and global players. The chemical sector is a powerful driving force behind innovation in many other industrial value chains, due not least to its central role as a materials supplier.

5th Rank

in the EU
In terms of sales revenues the North Rhine-Westphalian chemical industry ranks 5th in the EU and 14th in the world.

5 out of 10

in NRW
Of the ten highest-grossing German chemical companies, five are based in NRW alone.

45 bn €

Umsatz in NRW
In 2019 the NRW chemical industry achieved sales of €45.0 billion – equivalent to nearly 30.0 percent of total German sales.


chemical enterprises
The 455 chemical enterprises in NRW (with 20 and more employees) employ a workforce of more than 97,000 – more than 28 percent of all employees in this industry in Germany.

Chemical parks offering sophisticated logistics and infrastructure

Chemical park in NRW: Knapsack

North Rhine-Westphalia boasts 13 chemical parks – more than any other German state. Half of the chemical industry workforce is employed in these parks. Enterprises that are interested in moving to NRW benefit from a well-developed infrastructure and sophisticated logistics services. Chemical industry locations such as Dormagen, Gelsenkirchen, Leverkusen and Marl safeguard a continuous supply of raw materials (e.g. via extensive pipeline networks) and energy (via the high-capacity power and gas grids). These locations also offer a complete portfolio of services including utility and waste disposal management, logistics services, engineering, and facility management. This creates the basis for realizing plug & play concepts when planning and operating new plant and facilities.

Chemical industry companies in NRW

The chemical industry in NRW consists of a broad spectrum of SMEs, plus numerous global players:

Altana, Bayer, Covestro, Evonik, Henkel.

How to do business in NRW

Do you have questions about entry regulations, tax issues and relevant laws for your investment project? You can find all the important information on setting up a company and other practical answers in our Business Guide.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions

NRW.Global Business GmbH
Trade & Investment Agency of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)
Völklinger Str. 4
40219 Düsseldorf


Technology & business collaboration opportunities in NRW & Singapore

Webinar by NRW.Global Business, IPI Singapore, ZENIT and Enterprise Europe Network May 11, 2022 I 08:30 (CEST)/14:30 (UTC+8) - 10:30 (CEST)/16:30 (UTC+8)

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In 4 easy steps to North Rhine-Westphalia | NRW

We support you in your successful settlement in NRW with our international offices abroad and our headquarters in Düsseldorf. We are your partner and accompany the project in confidence – from the first contact to the successful settlement and beyond.

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The plastics industry in NRW comprises plastics producers, processors and machine builders and a broad scientific, research and service landscape which is unique in Europe in this concentration and composition. The research-intensive industry finds ideal conditions for innovation here.

Nanotechnology & Microsystems Technology

A strong research landscape and the close connectivity of industry and science in NRW contribute to high innovation speed. Companies from Germany and abroad benefit from the market dynamics of these key technologies.