06/18/2014 - Press release

100 years for the bitumen plant in Brunsbüttel

Previously a bunker station for the imperial Navy, the plant is now one of Europe's leading bitumen manufacturers. About 5,000 people celebrated the milestone anniversary of the bitumen plant at the weekend, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Torsten Albig. TOTAL Bitumen Deutschland GmbH held an open day featuring a factory tour and concert.

The family day offered attractions for children and adults alike, including a giant trampoline, a climbing wall, a bouncy castle, bull-riding and a racing car belonging to the Formula-1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel sponsored by TOTAL. The afternoon air show provided plenty of thrills with loop-the-loops by aerobatic pilot Matthias Dolderer above the mouth of the Elbe on the North-Sea and Baltic canal. The entire proceeds of the evening concert went to the anti-cancer campaign “Stark gegen Krebs”, run by the Brunsbüttel Wattolümpia Association. “We want to celebrate the anniversary accordingly and take the opportunity to thank the employees and the region,” explained Rainer Keiemburg, Managing Director of TOTAL Bitumen Deutschland (TBD). Many of the 130 permanent employees are part of the third generation working at the firm. 70 employees from contractors complete the workforce.

40 million euros in new investments by 2019

TOTAL continues to invest in site and has earmarked 40 million euros for the development of the Brunsbüttel plant over the next five years. The most significant single project is “the largest crude oil tank in Schleswig-Holstein” TBD's Executive Director Keiemburg explains. “Tank 83 will have a capacity of 40,000 cubic meters and will be ready for operation in 2016, while the oldest fully functional tank on the premises dates back to 1914!” TOTAL manufactures around 1.2 million tonnes of bitumen and fuel oil bunker products per year in Brunsbüttel. With around 100 innovative products for use in road construction (asphalt), manual work (bitumen roofing membranes), construction (soundproofing) and industry (tire manufacturing), the site also supplies a range of international customers. The company handles an annual traffic volume of around 20,000 trucks, 350 railroad tankers and 3,000 ships.

Historically, the hundred-year story began at the site with a fuel oil bunker station used by the imperial Navy. The site's history has witnessed several changes of ownership. From 1919 to 1925, the bunker station for marine diesel was part of the business empire of industrialist Hugo Stinnes. It was not until 1927, when the Melamid family and A.P. Möller took over the business, that the building of the bitumen business began. Signal Oil & Gas Co. and then Occidental Oil belonged to the owners until 1974, when Elf Bitumen Deutschland took over the reins. Since 2003, Brunsbüttel has operated under the name TOTAL Bitumen Deutschland GmbH.