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Sector Strengths

Chemicals and Plastics Industry

Saxony-Anhalt: State of chemicals and plastics

Saxony-Anhalt is at the centre of the central German chemicals landscape. This is backed up by the long tradition and strong performance of the chemicals and plastics processing industry. The first colour film, the rubber-synthesis and the first synthetic plastics have been developed in Saxony-Anhalt. Today, the chemical and plastics industry writes history again – with its modern chemistry specific infrastructure the region attracts more and more investors. Therefore, the chemical and plastics sector is one of the state’s leading economic sectors. The “chemistry park” concept was born here and also contributes significantly to the success of this industry. Saxony-Anhalt: we’ve got chemistry.

Hard facts

  • Central German chemistry triangle: traditional yet innovative location for the chemicals and plastics industry in the centre of Europe
  • 214 plants (with over 20 employees), producing chemical products or rubber and plastic goods
  • Almost 25,500 employees
  • 8.69 billion euros turnover = more than a fifth of the total turnover of processing businesses in Saxony-Anhalt (2008)
  • High sales productivity: 414,000 euros per employee
  • Predominantly small and mid-sized companies; around 10% of all chemistry companies are categorised as large companies

Find out more about Saxony-Anhalt’s Chemical and Plastics industry.

Food Industry

The best soils, the best production conditions

Saxony-Anhalt is an ideal location for the food industry. The most important reason is the good supply of raw materials such as grains, sugar and meat. Halberstädter sausages, Burger crispbread, Salzwedeler cakes, Halloren Kugeln chocolates, Zörbiger jams, Rotkäppchen sparkling wine, Saale-Unstrut wine and Hasseröder beer are regulars on supermarket shelves at home and abroad.

Hard facts

  • Almost 19,500 employees in around 190 plants generate annual sales of around 6.9 billion euros (2008)
  • Labour productivity is 12% above the national average
  • Around 1.2 million hectares used for agriculture, of which around 85% is arable land (the highest proportion in Germany)
  • Grain cultivation on more than half of the arable land, especially wheat and barley
  • Efficient agricultural businesses, high yields thanks to the most fertile soils in Germany: many areas have the maximum soil value of 100

Find out more about Saxony-Anhalt’s Food Industry.

Renewable Energy

Saxony-Anhalt is the state of renewable energies. Not only international companies such as Q-Cells, Sovello and Enercon are based here, the state is also a leader in application. Almost every third kilowatt hour now comes from renewable energy. The largest part of this is wind energy, with over 70%.

Sunny prospects

Saxony-Anhalt is the heartbeat of the Solar Valley. In no other region in the world can be found more companies from the photovoltaic industry. International investors have invested more than 9 billion euros in this location since 1991. Why? Because Solar Valley is the best region in the world for PV-producing companies – and has been awarded the Cell Award.

Solar Valley

  • Centre for silicon photovoltaics
  • Highest density of companies from the photovoltaic industry in the world
  • Over 3,500 jobs
  • Unites all PV technologies in Saxony-Anhalt
  • Most popular investment location in Germany, with 65% of the production capacity of the PV industry
  • Companies have their headquarters and R&D facilities here
  • Close R&D cooperation: the Fraunhofer Centre for Silicon Photovoltaics (CSP) is the world’s only centre for the crystallisation and material analysis of solar silicon
  • Awarded the Cell Award as the world’s best region for PV production companies

A fair wind

The most modern wind turbines don’t just turn in Saxony-Anhalt – they’re built here too. In Magdeburg, the German market leader Enercon builds the largest wind power stations in the world.
A prototype for these 125 metre-high “soft giants” is currently in operation in Egeln, near Magdeburg, and alone generates 4.5 Megawatt (MW). Its annual production could meet the energy needs of a small town of 4,000 households.

Hard Facts:

  • Most important renewable energy source: 71 % of energy generated from renewable sources comes from wind power (2007)
  • Wind energy in the national grid: Wind energy plants in Saxony-Anhalt feed around 4,400 million kWh into the network each year (2007)
  • Enercon in Magdeburg: largest production location with over 3,000 staff, production of all components including concrete component towers, rotor blades, kingpins and mainframes
  • Professorship for renewable energies/wind energy at the University of Magdeburg


One quarter of power generation from renewable sources in Saxony-Anhalt comes from biomass. Energy plants, wood or waste materials such as straw or manure are the most important source of renewable energy after wind power.

Concentrated and integrated research, orientated towards agriculture and application:

  • Plant biotechnology, cultivation research and agricultural sciences are the focuses of research in Halle, Quedlinburg and Gatersleben, recognised across Germany
  • The Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) in Gatersleben: one of the most influential plant growing centres in Germany

Find out more about Saxony-Anhalt’s Renewable Energy industry.


Transport and logistics hub

Saxony-Anhalt is at the heart of Germany and the centre of Europe. The convenient transport links guarantee efficient connections to markets and suppliers. Our state acts as an intersection on the trading routes between North and South, and East and West.

Hard Facts:

  • Connection to pan-European transport routes: A 2, A 9, A 14, A 38, A 143
  • International hub for air freight – Leipzig/Halle Aiport: unlimited 24-hour operation, 365 days a year, for freight flights, two parallel runways
  • Magdeburg/Cochstedt Airport: 24-hour operation, 365 days a year
  • One of the densest railway networks in Europe: around 2,300 km of track, 76 goods yards, marshalling yards at Halle (Saale) and Großkorbetha, train formation yard at Magdeburg-Rothensee
  • One of the most modern waterway networks in Europe, with the Elbe, Mittelland Canal and Wasserstraßenkreuz (water bridge); Magdeburg Port is an interior hub for the sea ports
  • Research and teaching on logistics at:Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg (Course in Industrial Engineering with Logistics), Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF Magdeburg (LogMotionLab = Testing and development laboratory for RFID), Virtual Development and Training Centre at the Fraunhofer IFF (VR-Technikum, prototyping laboratories, process design laboratories)

Find out more about Saxony-Anhalt’s Logistics industry.

Mechanical and Plant Engineering

High performance region with tradition and a future

There are many reasons why mechanical and plant engineering is the largest and most important industry in Saxony-Anhalt. 150 years of experience make their mark. Once a centre of heavy engineering, now providing top-class high-tech production. Traditional enterprises such as ENERCON GmbH, SKET Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH, FAM Magdeburger Förderanlagen und Baumaschinen GmbH, MAP Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH, and Laempe & Mössner GmbH promote Saxony-Anhalt’s progress and success worldwide. Use the strengths of our state, where Otto von Guericke and Hermann Gruson found success.

Hard facts

  • Around 12,300 employees in around 170 companies (predominantly SME)
  • Machinery and equipment made in Saxony-Anhalt is sought-after worldwide: almost 40% of all sales are made abroad
  • Top-class industrial SMEs, focuses on precision engineering and machine tool building, rotation processing, metallic materials, light metal casting (especially aluminium die casting), powder metallurgyand assembly and joining technology
  • Specialist areas of innovative suppliers experiencing strong growth: Mechatronics, components and equipment for the photovoltaics and wind power industries, special purpose machinery for high-precision manufacturing processes, machine tools, lifting devices and conveyors and pumps and compressors

Find out more about Saxony-Anhalt’s Mechanical /Plant Engineering industry.