Traditional plant in the salt region (Saxony-Anhalt)
The Bernburg (Saale) salt works is located between Magdeburg and Leipzig - in a region that has been influenced by mining since the Middle Ages. Here, salt is extracted from a high-quality deposit and processed into a wide range of rock salt and evaporated salt products, such as de-icing salt for winter roads, table salt and food grade salt and tablets for water softening.
The Bernburg (Saale) salt works is located between Magdeburg and Leipzig - in a region that has been influenced by mining since the Middle Ages. Here, salt is extracted from a high-quality deposit and processed into a wide range of rock salt and evaporated salt products, such as de-icing salt for winter r Today, the Bernburg plant is one of the most important regional employers with approx. 465 employees, including about 27 trainees. As a partner of the region, the Bernburg plant regularly awards contracts for supplies and services to companies in the surrounding area, thus providing the economic basis for a large number of regional jobs.
Cavern operation & liquefied gas storage
Since 1965, the favorable conditions of the Bernburg salt deposit have also been used to extract saturated brine in the Gnetsch brine field. The resulting caverns, uniformly shaped and stable caverns at depths of several hundred meters, offer ideal conditions for the safe storage of natural and liquid gas.
The underground storage facility, set up in 1974, is now operated by VNG - Verbundnetz Gas AG and, after several expansion stages, currently has a storage capacity of 1.0 billion standard cubic meters of natural gas.
The salt works itself has built a liquid gas storage facility in two caverns with an associated transshipment facility, which with a capacity of 80,000 tons is one of the largest of its kind and can supply a wide regional catchment area.oads, table salt and food grade salt and tablets for water softening.
Bernburg at a glance
|Type of site:||Extraction and processing of rock salt and vacuum salt|
|Number of employees:||approx. 460|
|Product & service portfolio:||
De-icing salt, industrial salt, livestock salt, food grade salt, industrial salt, salt tablets, dishwasher salt, storage/transhipment of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
|Production capacities:||approx. 2,600k tonnes/year rock salt
approx. 280k tonnes/year vacuum salt
approx. 1,400k tonnes/year salt brine
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The history of the salt mine
After the mining companies ("trade unions") "Bernburger Kaliwerke" and "Gröna" were founded in 1911, the actual start of the plant was in 1912 with the drilling work for the Bernburg (March 1912) and Gröna (April 1912) shafts, which was initially focused exclusively on the extraction of potash salts. Production of this coveted raw material began as early as 1913, and the potash factory began operations.
In 1921, the mining of rock salt was also started, of which the Bernburg deposit has large reserves of particularly pure quality.
After the Second World War, the 200 largest industrial plants in the Soviet occupation zone were expropriated for Germany by the Soviet military administration and merged into so-called Soviet stock corporations, including the potash and rock salt plant in Bernburg.
In the German Democratic Republic (GDR), the entire economic development was characterized by various phases of nationalization and finally by the formation of combines and the concentration in state-owned enterprises (VEB). Kali became one of the GDR's most important export goods and a major source of foreign exchange for the state.
After the construction of the new Zielitz potash plant in the 1960s, not far from Bernburg, the potash and rock salt plant in Bernburg was geared exclusively to its function as an efficient rock salt plant in the early 1970s. From 1974 onwards, only rock salt was produced here to meet the needs of the entire GDR and to supply the socialist neighboring countries.
A new era in German history began with the opening of the Wall on 9 November 1989. Reunification offered the German potash and salt industry a unique opportunity to jointly assume a new starting position in international competition. In the course of the privatization of the East German potash industry (which produced both potash and rock salt) in the 1990s, MDK - Mitteldeutsche Kali AG and K+S Aktiengesellschaft (then Kali und Salz GmbH) merged their potash and rock salt activities. At the beginning of 1994, the potash and rock salt activities of Kali und Salz and MDK were pooled in a new joint subsidiary in which the Treuhand also held a share. This is how the Bernburg site finally became part of the K+S Group.
The merger was followed by years of maintenance, modernization and streamlining of the East German potash and rock salt plants. In 1996, a new evaporated salt plant went into operation at the Bernburg plant; since then, in addition to high-quality rock salt products, numerous high-purity evaporated salt products have also been manufactured there.
When esco - european salt company was founded in 2002, the plant was integrated into the esco Group.
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