Plant Bernburg
Germany
The vacuum salt production Bernburg was erected in 1996

After the mining companies ("Unions") "Bernburger Kaliwerke" and "Gröna" were founded in 1911, the actual hour of birth of the company, which was initially exclusively focused on the winning of potassium salts, tolled in 1912 with the start of the sinking works for the shafts "Bernburg" (March 1912) and "Gröna" (April 1912). The extraction of the desirable raw material began in 1913 and the potash company took up its operations.

In 1921 the company also started with the extraction of rock salt, the Bernburg salt deposits housing large quantities in highest purity.

After the Second World War, the 200 largest industrial enterprises of the Soviet Occupational Zone were expropriated by the Soviet Military Administration for Germany and combined into so-called Soviet joint-stock companies, this included the potash and rock salt plant in Bernburg.

In the German Democratic Republic (GDR) the complete economic development was characterised by various stages of nationalization and finally the formation of combines and affiliation into state- owned enterprises (VEB). Potash became one of the most important export goods of the GDR and a major foreign currency earner for the state.

After the new construction of the potash plant in Zielitz not far from Bernburg in the sixties, the potash and rock salt company in Bernburg was focused exclusively on its function as efficient rock salt supplier at the beginning of the seventies. From 1974 on, only rock salt was produced here which was to cover the requirements of the whole GDR and its socialist neighbour states.

With the breakdown of the wall on 9 November 1989 a new era of German history took its run. The reunification offered the German potash and salt industry the unique opportunity of taking on a joint new starting position in international competition. Within the course of privatisation of the East German potash industry (which also produced rock salt in addition to potash) in the nineties, the MDK - Mitteldeutsche Kali AG and K+S Aktiengesellschaft (at that time named "Kali und Salz GmbH") united 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 and new subsidiary, in which the Treuhand (fiduciary organization) was also involved. This is how the location of Bernburg finally joined the K+S Group.

The merger was followed by years of overhauling, respectively modernisation and streamlining of the East German potash and rock salt plants. In 1996 a new vacuum salt facility was taken into operation at Bernburg; since then, many vacuum salt products of high purity are produced there in addition to top-quality rock salt products.

With the foundation of esco - european salt company in 2002 the plant was integrated in the esco Group.