Bayer's new biological crop protection production facility

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click image to zoomGround-breaking ceremony in Wismar: Bernd Naaf, member of the board of Bayer CropScience, Dr. Peter Lüth, managing director of Bayer CropScience Biologics GmbH, and Stephan Rudolph, Under Secretary, Ministry for Economic Affairs, Construction and Tourism, Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Bayer CropScience plans to substantially expand its site in Wismar, Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, to enable it to meet the growing global demand for biological crop protection solutions. The planned investment includes the construction of a new manufacturing facility for biological crop protection products and the requisite infrastructure. The extension to the production capacities will be carried out in stages and is scheduled for completion by 2016 at the latest. Furthermore, Bayer CropScience plans to consolidate its local research and development activities in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in a new building complex at the Wismar site. The total investment volume amounts to approximately EUR 18 million.

Construction of the production facility began today with the symbolic ground-breaking ceremony, which was performed by Stefan Rudolph, Under Secretary, Ministry for Economic Affairs, Construction and Tourism, Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Bernd Naaf, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer CropScience AG, and Peter Lueth, Managing Director of Bayer CropScience Biologics GmbH. Also in attendance at the event were Dr. Bernd Broschewitz, Department Head, Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Consumer Protection, Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, District Administrator Gerhard Rappen, Mayor of Wismar Thomas Beyer and Bayer CropScience's workforce at the site.

"Using biologicals is another future-oriented way of sustainably increasing agricultural productivity," said Bayer CropScience Management Board member Bernd Naaf. "The planned investment in our German site in Wismar is therefore not only a major step to strengthen Bayer CropScience's position as a leading supplier of integrated solutions to agriculture. Our range of seeds, combination of chemical and biological products and services also help us support our customers so that they can grow high-quality produce." Naaf was also optimistic that, depending on how the market develops, it will be possible to add more employees to the workforce.

Stefan Rudolph, Under Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs, Construction and Tourism, described the planned investments as a significant contribution to the further development of the Wismar site. "This is a clear sign of Bayer CropScience's commitment to Wismar with positive repercussions for the entire region. Innovations from the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern enhance our quality of life and raise our awareness of nature and nature conservation. Expansions like these create and safeguard highly qualified jobs in our state. We will continue to make sure that the framework conditions are attractive for investors. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has suitable land, a fast-moving administration, a state-of-the-art infrastructure and a moderate subsidies profile."

Peter Lueth, Managing Director of Bayer CropScience Biologics GmbH, underlined the company's expert knowledge and many years of experience in the field of fermentation: "Our employees are proud of their innovations and patented technologies, because they contribute to the success of Bayer. That's why we will continue to place our trust in our workforce's know-how and creativity in the future."

Research, Development and Production to be extended in stages

At present, research into new biological solutions based on fungal spores is conducted at Bayer's site in Malchow on the island of Poel, Germany. In the future, Bayer CropScience's local research and development activities will be concentrated in Wismar. The relocation will begin as soon as the approximately 1,600 m² two-story building complex with laboratories, pilot plants and offices has been completed. The relocation of R&D activities is scheduled for 2015.

The new production building in Wismar will meet state-of-the-art product quality and safety standards. Including a warehouse, Bayer's employees will have an area of 4,000 m² at their disposal in future - enough space for ideal production and fermentation conditions. The company is therefore well prepared for the future and can react flexibly to new market conditions.

BioAct and Contans: biologically active against nematodes and harmful fungi

Bayer CropScience markets microorganism-based biological crop protection products that are registered in more than 30 countries around the world. Biologicals have an outstanding environmental profile and are therefore one of the four cornerstones of Bayer CropScience's integrated crop solutions, along with the choice of enhanced seeds, use of chemical active ingredients and supplementary services.

The Wismar site will manufacture the nematocide BioAct and the fungicide Contans WG, which is used primarily on fruit and vegetables in tropical and subtropical countries. Bayer has also developed a patented technology for active substance fermentation, which can be used to produce large quantities of fungal biomass and fungal spores under sterile conditions. These are then used as biological active ingredients in innovative crop protection formulations.

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