Pet Food Feed Factory
As mentioned on the Hermes Papierfabrik page, part of Düsseldorf’s harbour has been gentrified. The old warehouses have been converted or replaced by modern office blocks, with three landmark buildings designed by Frank Gehry at the centre. Together these buildings are known as the ‘Neuer Zollhof’, and are twisty and quirky in typical Gehry style. This part of the harbour – the gentrified part – is today known as the ‘Media Hafen’, and as the name would suggest is home to many media firms, including WDR, the large German broadcasting company.
The Media Hafen, though, is only one part of the Dusseldorf harbour. Behind the glitzy wharf of the Media Hafen are several working docks, largely hidden from view. There are warehouses, there is a shunting yard, there are working factories; cargo is loaded onto container barges and sent off along the Rhine; cargo is unloaded and sent off to its final destination aback a rusty freight train. Amidst all this, on a wharf about a ten minute walk from the Media Hafen, is an old feed processing factory that used to specialise in the production of pet food.
Muskator was the name of the company, and they had several sites based in the vicinity, but the headquarters were based on the Hafen in Düsseldorf. Management, administration, purchasing, sales, product development and marketing were all also based here. At the Düsseldorf site cereals, pellets and by-products were processed, imported by badge from the Rhine then exported as a finished product via the industrial railway. Over half a million tonnes of animal feed was processed at the site each year.
In early 2011, the Muskator company started to suffer from acute cash flow problems and faced insolvency. A bidder for the sites was sought, and in May of that year the Belgian company Aveve bought several of the company’s sites and assets. Unfortunately for the Düsseldorf factory, Aveve already had full management and administration capacity, and as a result the Düsseldorf site was closed. Since mid-2011, then, the Düsseldorf feed factory has sat abandoned with no obvious alternative use for the factory apparent.