Past and present
At the first German Chemistry Conference held in October 1958 in the former GDR, the decision was taken to increase production of synthetic fibres. The chemical complex which was to be key to performing this task was established on the site of the former Rheinmetall-Borsig armaments plant in Guben. This location was highly symbolic, as the plant lay close to the border with Poland. The plant was thus intended to be used for peace-promoting purposes, although up until 1945 it had actually been producing military equipment for Germany.
Construction of the first facilities started in 1960.
On 1 October 1964, test production began at the spinning mill on the site of the present-day Trevira plant.
In 1968, along with the production of rayon work simultaneously began on developing a PA6 production line; this material is used in the production of carpet yarn.
The spinning plant commenced production on 4 March 1969.
In early 1969, production commenced at the first VK continuous polymerization reactor.
Production of PA6 was first expanded at the turn of 1980. Three additional reactors were added to the six VK continuous polymerization reactors already in operation, these being housed in a new building.
In 1981, the first extraction and drying unit intended for continuous operation was installed and began operating.
The year 1987 saw test production begin in a unit, which at the time was a state-of-the-art technological achievement . It was the first time that a unit based on “cascade polymerization” was employed in production. Its launch was combined with a new continuous extraction and drying unit for producing high viscose granulate (LV 3,25), the basic raw material used in the production of tyres for large-size vehicles.
In 1989, the Herbert Warnke chemical fibres plant, as the former industrial complex was now renamed, employed about 7,500 workers, including foreigners from such countries as Poland, Vietnam, Cuba and Mozambique. The Cord-Dedotex plant employed a total of around 990 people, including those involved in textile post-processing. The polymerization department has a staff of approximately 110. After German reunification, the plant continued to operate under the name of Guben Chemical Fibres Factory Ltd., even though several hundred workplaces had to be cut to ensure profitability.
In 1993, the former Cord-Dedotex plant was sold to the limited partnership Maltzahn in Nottuln. The owner, Baron von Maltzahn, resumed BCF yarn production and created about 350 new jobs under the name Lausitzer Teppichfaserwerk Ltd.
In 1998, the first negotiations were held between Lausitzer Teppichfaserwerk Ltd. and Pongs und Zahn AG in Hamburg with regard to selling the former company with the aim of establishing a separate polymerization division. Lausitzer Teppichfaserwerk Ltd. was sold, and its polymerization division was renamed Plastomid Polymere Ltd. It was acquired by Pongs und Zahn AG as an autonomous company with about 58 employees. The company produced about 20 kt of PA6 granulate, solely in 2.7 liquid form, for use in Lausitzer Teppichfaserwerk Ltd. and for processing PA6.
Further investments were launched in the company in 2000. The capacity of all the VK continuous polymerization reactors was increased after resetting them to handle two-stage production. The new installations made it possible to offer a wider range of products with new types of high viscose granulate introduced. The company entered the foil industry market.
In 2003, a vacant production building shell was purchased from the city of Guben.
In 2004, construction work began on a modern polymerization unit (VK 1/KET 80 continuous polymerization reactor) for producing PA6 that was compatible with the BCF spinning plant. The unit began operating after less than six months.
In 2005, the company was renamed Unylon Polymers Ltd. Its modernised production management technology enabled it to achieve a production capacity of 46,000 t/a of PA 6, and granulate with 2.4-4.0 viscosity was first produced.
In 2008, a Melt Conditioning Unit (the only one of its kind in Europe) was installed to add refining agents, which allowed the company to further expand its product range.
The crisis in the global economy in 2008-2009 saw prices of energy and raw materials skyrocket and the market collapsed dramatically. The company was unable to maintain production at profitable levels.
On 23 April 2009, a petition was filed with the Cottbus district court to open bankruptcy proceedings.
On 1 July 2009, bankruptcy proceedings commenced. Finding a prospective investor to take over Unylon Polymers was part of the procedure. After the Polish chemical concern Zakłady Azotowe w Tarnowie-Mościcach S.A. acquired all its shares, the company returned to the market.
Since 26 February 2010, the company has been operating under a new name, ATT Polymers GmbH. Grupa Azoty S.A. (formerly Zakłady Azotowe w Tarnowie-Mościcach S.A.) owns 100% of the shares in the new company. Thanks to its integration with the raw materials producer and specially configured equipment, the company can today respond flexibly to the requests of its customers and secure a good position on the market.
Since 10 July 2013, the company change the name to Grupa Azoty ATT Polymers GmbH