Departure into an uncertain future

After the Hoechst Group had grown over decades into an international chemical giant, its dissolution was initiated in the early 1990s: After being transformed into a holding company, Hoechst AG merged with Rhône-Poulenc to form Aventis S. A., based in Strasbourg. The Hoechst plant in Hürth-Knapsack became the Chemical Park Knapsack. The remaining units of the Hoechst Group became independent companies. One of them: InfraServ Knapsack, the former service unit of Hoechst. In 1998, InfraServ GmbH & Co. Knapsack KG officially began its activities and, from then on, wrote its own history. 

1997: A dramatic change

  • Transformation of the Knapsack plant of Hoechst AG into Chemical Park Knapsack.
  • Spin-off of the operative units and factory services into independent companies.
  • On February 4, InfraServ GmbH & Co. Knapsack KG is entered in the Brühl commercial register. The general partner is InfraServ Verwaltungs GmbH in Frankfurt, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hoechst AG. Limited partners are Targor GmbH, Hoechst AG, Celanese GmbH, Clariant GmbH and Hostalen Polyethylen GmbH.
  • Hoechst will transfer the land and buildings of the plant to InfraServ Knapsack.
  • Foundation of InfraServ GmbH & Co. Landfill KG

1998: The year of foundation

  • As of January 1, 1998, Hoechst is no longer operational in Knapsack. The employees of the plant service department were transferred to InfraServ Knapsack.
  • Foundation of the Chemical Park Knapsack and InfraServ Knapsack, end of the Hoechst era.
  • Knapsack stands for a new model of cooperation between independent companies: internationally active chemical companies and regional service companies.
  • The renovation of the Chemical Park Knapsack administration building is successfully completed.

1999: Hoechst AG completes the demerger

  • The ChemCologne initiative is launched in February. Supported by the state government of NRW, the Chemical Park Knapsack, Bayer AG, other chemical companies in the region, the University of Cologne, the Cologne Employers' Association, the city of Hürth and the Erftkreis agree on joint marketing in order to promote the economic potential of the Cologne region.
  • In October, Hoechst completes its split-up. The Pharmaceuticals and Crop Protection business units are merged with Rhône Poulenc to form the new Aventis S.A., based in Strasbourg. The Lyon-based subcompany Aventis Crop Science is responsible for the crop protection products business and takes over the activities of the former AgrEvo GmbH in the Knapsack Chemical Park.
  • InfraServ Verwaltungs GmbH in Frankfurt, which provides the management of the chemical park operating company InfraServ Knapsack, becomes a 100% subsidiary of Celanese AG, and the limited partner's share of Hoechst AG in InfraServ Knapsack (22%) is transferred to Celanese AG.

2000: The conversion is completed

At the end of the 20th century, the conversion of the site into the open chemical park Knapsack is largely completed. The operating company is InfraServ GmbH & Co. Knapsack KG, with 900 employees.

2001: The first in-house fair in the ‘Feierabendhaus’

  • InfraServ Knapsack's analytical department uses membrane technology as an established procedure in waste water treatment.
  • InfraServ Knapsack's first so-called "in-house exhibition" attracts numerous customers and business partners to the end of the day.

2002: Takeover and foundation

  • As of January 1st, InfraServ Knapsack takes over Analytik Kalle-Albert in Wiesbaden.
  • "Personaltransfair" – the name under which the personnel management services of InfraServ Knapsack operate – successfully concludes the largest project to date: personnel provision for the paper mill on the Knapsack hill.
  • InfraServ Knapsack's new server centre is inaugurated at the end of October.

Growth & nationwide expansion

Before implementing new corporate structures, it was first necessary to establish an understanding of service among the workforce. However, after the start-up and finding phase, the question arose: How and where can the industrial service provider profitably grow? After all, the development opportunities at their own location were limited. With all the energy of a young company and the know-how of a former chemical giant, InfraServ Knapsack soon offered its services beyond the borders of the chemical park – with great success. The former Hoechst AG group segment became an industrial partner operating nationwide.

2003: Newly established subsidiaries

  • InfraServ Knapsack submits approval documents for the construction of a RDF steam power plant.
  • InfraServ Knapsack founds two new companies: PERSONAL Transfair and RHEIN-ERFT AKADEMIE become independent GmbHs.
  • The Chemical Park Knapsack participates in the nationwide "Open Day" of the chemical industry. Around 10,000 visitors exceeded all expectations of the organizers.
  • Bayer CropScience moves into a new administration building in the Hürth part of the chemical park.

2004: The first joint Christmas party

  • The newly founded InfraServ Knapsack subsidiaries RHEIN-ERFT AKADEMIE and PERSONAL Transfair start their operative business.
  • The new plant security centre (gate 1) in the Knapsack plant is moved into.
  • The two-day "InfraServ Knapsack Trade Fair" takes place for the second time in September.
  • InfraServ Knapsack starts building a new production hall for Nexans. Investment volume: approx. 300,000 euros.
  • For the first time in its history, InfraServ Knapsack celebrates a joint Christmas party for all employees in the ‘Feierabendhaus’ with almost 700 participants.

2005: New managing director

  • On May 23, the "Rhein-Erft-Berufsstart" association is founded. Founding members include: Bayer CropScience GmbH, Clariant GmbH , 1st Goldenberg Berufskolleg, InfraServ GmbH & Co. Knapsack KG, Nexans GmbH, RHEIN-ERFT AKADEMIE GmbH, Rhein-Erft-Kreis, and Vinnolit GmbH. Together, they intend to make young people, who have not found an apprenticeship place yet, attractive for the job market. In order to be independent of state funds and at the same time be able to use foundation funds, the form of the association is chosen.
  • On August 11, the starting signal for the hydrogen application centre of IGH2 is given. The community of interests consists of: InfraServ Knapsack, St@rt Hürth, Stadtwerke Hürth, OperaThing, and Vinnolit, using hydrogen for the first time in the CPK in a targeted and energetically fully exploited way. A hydrogen-powered OB van broadcasts a three-hour live special programme.
  • Helmut Weihers becomes the new managing director of InfraServ Knapsack as of November 1. Weihers is the preferred candidate of his predecessor Prof. Horst Dieter Schüddemage, who is retiring.

2006: The construction of the substitute fuel power plant is decided

  • InfraServ Knapsack sells IWL to Müller-BBM on March 1.
  • On April 1, InfraServ Knapsack introduces the 40-hour week.
  • In July, Sotec and InfraServ Knapsack decide to build a substitute fuel power plant (RDF). For this purpose, 105 million euros are invested at the Knapsack location.
  • In August, the ‘Feierabendhaus’ is given a new roof. The roof of the listed building will be covered with polyurethane foam for thermal insulation.
  • 7,000 interested people visit the Chemical Park Knapsack on the open day. A colourful supporting program informs and entertains the guests of the site companies on September 23. InfraServ Knapsack also welcomes interested applicants, employees and families with its own stand.
  • InfraServ Knapsack, RWE Power and the City of Hürth are cooperating for the regional “2010 Project”. Under the title "Energy and Chemical Center Knapsack" (ECC), the region participates in the NRW structural development programme.
  • At the end of November, the first foundations for the RDF power plant are ready. The building construction begins.

2007: The best degree to date

  • In the tenth year of InfraServ Knapsack's existence, the company can present its best financial statement.
  • The construction of a new fresh water pipeline from Dirmerzheim to Knapsack also begins in April. The pipeline, financed by RWE Power and InfraServ Knapsack, will be completed in the same year and will replace the existing pipeline in the future.
  • The topping-out ceremony for the EBKW in Knapsack is held in June. Commissioning is scheduled for the end of 2008.
  • In addition to member InfraServ Knapsack, the registered association HyCologne, a project for the promotion of hydrogen as a future energy source, is founded together with six other founding members.
  • The Chemical Park Knapsack celebrates its 100th anniversary with a ceremony on August 24, and the big citizens' festival on August 25. A colourful program awaits the approximately 5,000 visitors to the citizens' festival with a two-hour Bläck-Fööss concert and a laser show on the square in front of the administration building as the highlight and conclusion of the evening.

2008: 20,000 metres of cable for an extended power supply system

  • InfraServ Knapsack expands the electricity network in the Chemical Park Knapsack. 20,000 meters of insulated overhead line were laid between the two parts of the chemical park to transport the electricity from the new substitute fuel power plant to Hürth.
  • InfraServ Knapsack is taking over school sponsorships for the Elisabeth-von-Thüringen Realschule in Brühl and the Friedrich-Ebert-Realschule in Hürth at the beginning of the new school year 2008.
  • In September, the Knapsack wastewater company invests 2 million euros in a modernisation of the wastewater facilities, saving over 1,000 tons of CO2 and 15% electricity.
  • The water rights for InfraServ Knapsack and other companies on Knapsack Hill are extended by the District Government of Cologne for another ten years.
  • In November, construction work begins on the façade of the headquarters of InfraServ Knapsack. The renewal concept combines energy savings and increased security.
  • In December, the Chemical Park Knapsack gets its own house numbers. The headquarters of InfraServ Knapsack can now be found at Industriestraße 300.

2009: The new EMSR workshop

  • The new substitute fuel power plant (EBKW) is officially inaugurated in March in the presence of Prime Minister Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers.
  • The Norwegian energy group Statkraft opens its new technical regional headquarters in the Chemical Park Knapsack at the beginning of June.
  • The new EMSR workshop of InfraServ Knapsack is inaugurated at the end of October.

Five become one

Over the course of time, it became apparent that many customers appreciate the local proximity to their service provider. YNCORIS has therefore continuously built up new locations of its own in the vicinity of its most important customers and, in addition to its headquarters in Hürth, is represented by five other locations in the Rhineland and Ruhr area. Together with YNCORIS' range of services and many years of experience in the chemical industry, the various agencies are an important factor for success in competition. The largest site with its own workshop and around 50 employees from different areas is located in Leverkusen. In addition, there are repair centres in Cologne North, Duisburg and Dormagen as well as offices in Uerdingen and Düren. 

2010: Sale of one subsidiary

  • The Rhein-Erft Academy is handed over by InfraServ Knapsack to the Stiftung Bildung & Handwerk at the end of March.
  • The first hydrogen filling station in the Chemical Park Knapsack is opened at the beginning of May.
  • In September, Statkraft presents its plans for the construction of a further power plant in the Chemical Park Knapsack.

2011: The electronic marshalling yard

  • Ground-breaking ceremony for the electronic shunting interlocking system of the railway operations of InfraServ Knapsack.
  • Test phase of two hydrogen buses for public transport in the cities of Hürth and Brühl begins. The buses are re-fuelled at the Hürth gate of the Knapsack Chemical Park.
  • The nationwide "Open Day of the Chemical Industry" on September 24, 2011, in the Chemical Park Knapsack attracts around 3000 visitors.
  • At the end of October, the demolition of Clariant's Oxaphospholan plant, which was shut down at the end of 2008, is completed, and the site is handed back to InfraServ Knapsack.

2012: Official opening of the Leverkusen site

  • In March, plans are presented for a new entrance to the Hürth section of the plant.
  • InfraServ Knapsack's emergency management for the Chemical Park Knapsack site puts new rooms for the Central Emergency Management (ZEL) into operation in April.
  • InfraServ Knapsack inaugurates the Leverkusen site.
  • After almost 27 years of service at the Knapsack location and 12 years as managing director of InfraServ Knapsack, Helmut Weihers retires at the end of December.

2013: Dual leadership as new management

  • As of January 1, 2013, the change in the management of InfraServ Knapsack takes place with a first-time double leadership: Ralf Müller (Chairman) and Dr. Clemens Mittelviefhaus take over the management of InfraServ Knapsack.
  • In January, the new gateway in the Hürth section of the plant is officially opened and presented to the public.
  • Bayer CropScience further expands its production capacities in the crop protection facilities and in March invests 30 million euros into the Chemical Park Knapsack.
  • In summer, PERSONALTransfair celebrates its tenth anniversary.
  • On August 1, 2013, synlab Environmental Institute takes over the analytical division of InfraServ Knapsack at the Knapsack and Wiesbaden locations.

2014: Award as “Top Employer“

  • The radios of the plant fire brigade are converted from analogue to digital radio communication.
  • The AWH Business Award goes to a subsidiary of InfraServ Knapsack, the transfer company PERSONALTransfair.
  • InfraServ Knapsack rises to the top ten in the renowned Lünendonk study for the first time.
  • InfraServ Knapsack receives the "Top Employer" award from FOCUS for the first time.
  • The Chemical Park Knapsack counts 3500 visitors on the occasion of the nationwide open day of the chemical industry in September 2014.

2015: Opening of a new workshop in Dormagen

  • PERSONALTransfair is sold by InfraServ Knapsack to the ‘Handwerk und Bildung’ foundation.
  • KCG, the operator of the container terminal, gets a new reach stacker.
  • Friedhelm Breuer retires. Bert Richartz is the new head of the plant fire brigade in the Chemical Park Knapsack.
  • Bayer CropScience continues to expand the Knapsack site: The foundation stone is laid for the new crop protection agent MPE plant (methane phosphonic acid ester). Planned production start: early 2017.
  • InfraServ Knapsack opens its own workshop in Dormagen.

2016: 100 new recruits in one year

  • InfraServ Knapsack builds an extension building for defective aggregates in Knapsack.
  • At the beginning of June, KCG Knapsack Cargo GmbH officially starts operating the new storage facility for tank containers in the chemical park part of Hürth.
  • The Chemical Park Knapsack hosts the “1st Night of Technology Rhine-Erft” in September.
  • InfraServ Knapsack continues to grow. By December 31, 100 new employees have been hired.

2017: Takeover of the logistics at the Düren site

  • InfraServ Knapsack takes over the logistics services for Akzonobel at the location in Düren.
  • InfraServ Knapsack is awarded the gold status by EcoVadis. EcoVadis audits the sustainability management of companies, including the criteria of social responsibility, environmental awareness, and ethics. 
  • InfraServ Knapsack opens a pump and machine workshop designed according to the most modern criteria after new construction and conversion.
  • InfraServ Knapsack receives the AWH Economy Prize 2017 and donates the prize money to the Hospiz Hürth e.V. association.
  • The subsidiary of InfraServ Knapsack, OnSite Engineering GmbH, celebrates its 10th anniversary.
  • The new InfraServ Knapsack construction workshop is opened.

2018: Record year – 200 million euro mark broken

  • At the beginning of the year it is clear: InfraServ Knapsack will have another record year and will break the 200 million euro mark regarding turnover in 2017.
  • InfraServ Knapsack modernizes and digitalizes the control room of supply and disposal. From here, the complete supply (electricity, gas, cooling water, compressed air, etc.) is monitored and controlled.
  • InfraServ Knapsack signs new energy supplier contracts with the energy company EEW Energy from Waste and RWE Power, and secures a sustainable, long-term energy supply for the industrial companies on Knapsack Hill.

Everything remains different

In 2019, it is time to take the company's development into account with a new name: The name YNCORIS not only eliminates the danger of confusion with other companies using the term "InfraServ", but also dissolves the current local ties and creates a higher memorability on the market through individuality. With this name change, we want to set the course for a successful future and continue writing our history.