Traditional plant in the salt region (Saxony-Anhalt)
The Bernburg (Saale) salt plant is located between Magdeburg and Leipzig - in a region that has been characterized by mining since the Middle Ages. Salt is extracted here from a high-grade deposit and processed into a wide range of rock salt and evaporated salt products, such as de-icing salt for winter road clearance services, food grade and table salts, and tablets for water softening.
Today, the Bernburg plant is one of the most important regional employers with around 500 employees, including around 27 trainees. As a partner to the region, the plant regularly commissions subcontracting and services to companies in the surrounding area, therefore providing the economic basis for numerous regional jobs.
Cavern operation & liquefied gas storage
Since 1965, the favorable conditions of the Bernburg salt deposit have also been utilized for the extraction of saturated brine in the Gnetsch brine field. The resulting caverns, uniformly shaped and stable cavities at a depth of several hundred meters, provide ideal conditions for the safe storage of natural and liquid gas.
Established in 1974, the underground storage facility is now operated by VNG Gasspeicher GmbH and, following several expansion stages, currently has a storage capacity of 1.0 billion standard cubic meters of natural gas.
The salt plant itself has built a liquefied gas storage facility in two caverns with an associated transhipment facility which, with a capacity of 80,000 tonnes, is one of the largest of its kind and can supply a wide regional catchment area.
Bernburg at a glance
|Type of site:||Extraction and processing of rock salt and vacuum salt|
|Number of employees:||approx. 500|
|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. 275k tonnes/year vacuum salt
approx. 1,400k tonnes/year salt brine
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Our certificates at the Bernburg plant
Our products are certified according to international standards and norms. Here you can find our current certificates.
IFS Food Certificate
ISO 50001 Certificate
ISO 9001 Certificate
The history of the salt mine
After the mining companies ("unions") "Bernburger Kaliwerke" and "Gröna" had been founded in 1911, the actual birth of the plant, which initially focused exclusively on the extraction of potash salts, occurred in 1912 with the start of mining operations for the Bernburg (March 1912) and Gröna (April 1912) shafts. As early as 1913, extraction of the popular raw material began and the potash factory started operations.
In 1921, the extraction of rock salt was also started, of which there are large reserves in particularly pure quality in the Bernburg deposit.
After the Second World War, the Soviet Military Administration for Germany expropriated the 200 largest industrial companies in the Soviet occupation zone and merged them into so-called Soviet joint stock corporations, including the potash and rock salt plant in Bernburg.
The merger was followed by years of maintenance or modernization and rationalization 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 evaporated salt products of high purity have been produced there.
With the establishment of esco - european salt company in 2002, the plant was integrated into the esco Group. Since 2019, the Bernburg plant has belonged to K+S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH.
In the German Democratic Republic (GDR), the entire economic development was characterized by various phases of nationalization and finally the formation of combines and amalgamation into Volkseigene Betriebe (VEB). Potash became one of the GDR's most important export goods and a major foreign currency earner for the state.
Following the construction of the Zielitz potash plant in the 1960s not far from Bernburg, the potash and rock salt plant in Bernburg was aligned exclusively to its function as an efficient rock salt plant in the early 1970s. From 1974, only rock salt was produced here to meet the needs of the entire GDR and to supply neighboring socialist countries.
The opening of the Wall on November 9, 1989 marked the beginning of a new era in German history. Reunification provided the German potash and salt industry with 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) combined 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 joint new subsidiary, in which Treuhand also had a stake. 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.