(Leunawerke “Walter Ulbricht”), the largest chemical enterprise in the German Democratic Republic. Located in Leun, the Halle district, near Leipzig, Leunawerke processes brown coal (lignite) to manufacture ammonium sulfate (fertilizers), fuel materials, methanol, phenol, caprolactam, polyamides, high-pressure polyethylene and other plastics, adhesives, and various catalysts. Approximately 50 products are exported to 60 countries.
The Leunawerke plants were constructed in 1916. In March 1921, Leunawerke workers were involved in German revolutionary actions. Antifascist groups, headed by the German Communist Party, were organized at the plants during World War II (1939–45). After the war, the Soviet administration undertook reconstruction of Leunawerke, 80 percent of which had been destroyed, and its production was switched over to peaceful purposes. In 1954 management of the enterprise was placed in the hands of the German Democratic Republic and expanded considerably under worker and peasant control. The Leuna-2 plant was added to the complex in 1966; it is equipped with the latest technical facilities and operates on petrochemical raw material. In 1968, Leunawerke reached a production level twice that of the highest level recorded before 1945.
Short-term plans are being formulated for effecting a substantial increase in oil-refining products. Petroleum from the USSR is supplied directly to Leun via the Druzhba Pipeline. Leunawerke was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1956.