Our history

The Future Needs Tradition and Innovation

1828 The year in which our company’s first precursor, Braun und Wagenmann, was incorporated in Liesing (on the outskirts of Vienna). The company produces spirit, brandy and the dye Rosolio.
1838 The company is now known as Wagenmann & Seybel and starts to produce chemicals. Industrial chemistry is still a young science but is expanding rapidly.
1842 At the Liesing plant, sulphuric acid and a range of other important chemicals are produced on a large scale. By the turn of the century, the company develops to become one of the monarchy’s most important producers of chemicals.
1895 France: the three chemists Mark Gilliard, Prosper Monnet and Jean-Marie Cartier establish Société Chimique des Usines du Rhône, which becomes Rhône-Poulenc in 1928.
1897 A further corporate precursor of DONAU CHEMIE, Continentale Gesellschaft für angewandte Elektrizität (based in Basel) plans several carbide factories, one of which is in Landeck, where the requisite power station is also constructed using the Trisanna and Rosanna waterfalls.
1902 In Liesing, production of citric acid has also started recently. Carbide production begins in Landeck with the company’s own hydroelectric plant at Wiesberg providing the electricity needed.
1908 Our third corporate precursor, Elektrobosna, constructs an electrolysis plant in Brückl (Carinthia) to produce chlorine and sodium hydroxide solution.
1917 DONAU CHEMIE’s actual head office, the gunpowder factory Skodawerke- Wetzler AG, is registered in the Commercial Register. Its plant in Moosbierbaum (Pischelsdorf) supplies the army with munitions for a few months only.
1918 The plant in Liesing is cut off from important sources of raw materials, its market no longer exists.
1920 The shares in Wagenmann, Seybel & Co. AG are acquired by Skoda-Wetzler, which has converted to peaceful products and is interested in expanding its chemicals base, for 11.5 million Reichsmarks.
1924 A modern sulphuric acid and super phosphate plant is constructed on the site of the former gunpowder factory at Moosbierbaum (Pischelsdorf).
1938 The three corporate precursors were combined to form DONAU CHEMIE and merged into IG Farben.
1942 A “historic” year for DONAU CHEMIE: the future chief executive and later owner Alain de Krassny is born in Nice.
1945 The Second World War ends. Most chemical production plants have been destroyed, including Pischelsdorf. DONAU CHEMIE is now subject to public administration. The Moosbierbaum plant is administered by SMV, the Soviet Oil Administration, the predecessor to OMV.
1958 Reprivatisation of DONAU CHEMIE. Its shareholders are the French group Nobugil (Nobel Bozel, Ugine, Progil), the Austrian company Montana and Creditanstalt. Karl Kahane, the owner of Montana, becomes chairman of the Supervisory Board. In Landeck, the new closed direct arc furnace is commissioned and the old open furnaces shut down.
1960 The foundation stone is laid for reconstruction in Pischelsdorf: Foreign Minister Kreisky, the former chancellor Figl, DONAU CHEMIE President Kahane, his predecessors Larue and other well-known representatives from the economy and politics are present. The first phase of construction: construction of a sulphuric acid plant.
1962 The French student Alain de Krassny unknowingly lays the foundation stone for his career at DONAU CHEMIE: he takes a holiday job as a trainee at the Brückl plant. In Landeck, preparations are started for the construction of a new limekiln. The flue gases from the carbide furnace are to be used to burn limestone for the first time.
1964 The Pischelsdorf plant: a granulating plant to manufacture granulated fertilisers goes into operation and a modern phosphoric acid plant is constructed.
1967 September 15th – an important PR day for DONAU CHEMIE: the French Prime Minister Georges Pompidou, Chancellor Klaus and other important members of the Austrian government visit the plant in Pischelsdorf. Production of environmentally friendly phosphate fertilisers starts. In Landeck, a long-term construction programme for environmental protection equipment to reduce dust and flue gas emissions begins.
1972 Alain de Krassny joins Rhône-Poulenc Group in Paris. DONAU CHEMIE acquires Chemo Droga (now DONAUCHEM). Montana sells its DONAU CHEMIE shares to the French shareholders.
1973 Dr. Schmidt-Chiari (Creditanstalt) becomes chairman of the Supervisory Board of DONAU CHEMIE. In Pischelsdorf, the second sulphuric acid plant and a gypsum plate production plant go into operation.
1985 President Kirchschläger and representatives of the regional government participate in the 25th anniversary celebrations at the Pischelsdorf plant.
1987 Alain de Krassny becomes chairman of the Management Board of DONAU CHEMIE AG.
1989 The strategies of Rhône-Poulenc and DONAU CHEMIE begin to develop in different directions. The demands of organic agriculture are already met at DONAU CHEMIE thanks to efficient but environmentally friendly mineral fertilisers.
1992 Facilities for chlorinated solvents are shut down and the iron (III) chloride facilities go into operation at the Brückl plant. The move from organic chlorine chemistry to inorganic chlorine chemistry is completed. Three years later, DONAU CHEMIE receives the regional government of Carinthia’s prize for its exemplary soil clean-up programme at the plant.
1997 An important year – structural change at Rhône-Poulenc Group: the major existing shareholders in DONAU CHEMIE (Rhône-Poulenc and Creditanstalt) agree to the company being taken over by a management buyout. Alain de Krassny, the former and new chief executive establishes a private foundation for this purpose. At this point, DONAU CHEMIE Group comprises the following companies: Donau Chemie AG, DONAUCHEM Austria, Franz Aigner, DONAUCHEM Slovakia, DONAUCHEM Hungary, DONAUCHEM Germany, DONAU Drew and DONAU Gips.
1998 Merger of DONAUCHEM Austria & Franz Aigner and establishment of DONAUCHEM Italy.
1999 EUR 15 million are invested in a membrane electrolysis plant for the world’s most up-to-date and most environmentally friendly process for producing chlorine and sodium hydroxide solution. In August, Donau Chemie completes the construction of a second reactivation line at the Pischelsdorf plant.
2000 With the acquisition of Lurgi Aktivkohle GmbH in Germany and the foundation of Donau Carbon Corp., USA , DONAU CARBON has a wide range of services for cleaning air and water. It encompasses  the supply, reactivation, exploitation and sles of active carbon.
2001 Existing business areas within DONAU CHEMIE Group are structured in BUSINESS UNITS. At the DONAUCHEM Austria plants in Liesing, Absam, Lobau and Brückl a total of EUR 2,3 million is invested in infrastructure facilities, tank farms and filling systems.
2002 DONAUCHEM starts its success story in Poland and the DONAU CARBON reactivation plant in Pischelsdorf goes into operation. DONAU CHEMIE Landeck celebrates its 100th birthday.
2004 DONAU CHEMIE invests approximately EUR 6 million in a PAC plant in Brückl and in a condensing turbine in Pischelsdorf.
2005 DONAUCHEM acquires a majority holding in a major chemicals distributer in the Czech Republic, taking a further step towards its goal of becoming a leading chemicals distributer in CEE. In the same year, DONAU CHEMIE divests itself of its fertiliser division, which is taken over by Roullier Group, a world leader in the agricultural supplies sector.
2006 Work starts on the construction of a new, state-of-the-art distribution and production plant for DONAUCHEM at the site in Pischelsdorf. At the same time, Pischelsdorf expands to become an industrial park when Agrana chooses to locate there. Reconstruction work commences on the Wiesberg power plant in Landeck, which had been badly damaged by the flood disaster. The investment volume for both projects runs to more than EUR 40 million.
2007 In April the new, state-of-the-art filling system for the manufacture of consumer products goes into operation in Pischelsdorf while at the same time work starts on the construction of a new production building for basic chemicals at DONAUCHEM. In May DONAUCHEM acquires a majority interest in S.C.-Value-ChemRomania Srl in Romania. This is the fifth largest subsidiary in the CEE region. The DONAUCHEM Business Unit is split into two regional areas of responsibility, CEE and Austria. In December DONAU CHEMIE acquires the Upper Austrian-based Kanol GesmbH & Co KG, which is engaged in the development and contract filling of cleaning and cosmetic products.
2008 In February the fourth DONAU KANOL Business Unit is activated. This unit focuses exclusively on the development and filling of consumer products in Pischelsdorf (Lower Austria) and in Ried im Traunkreis (Upper Austria). In June the opening ceremony is held for the new production buildings for DONAUCHEM and DONAU KANOL in the Pischelsdorf industrial park. In September the DONAU CHEMIE plant in Brückl celebrates its 100th birthday.
2009 The “new DONAU CHEMIE“ is 13 years old. CEO Alain de Krassny withdraws from the operational business and in his new capacity as chairman of the Supervisory Board will support DONAU CHEMIE Group as it heads for many further years of success.
2010 Donauchem Poland opens a neu production and office facility in Poznan.
2011 Donau Carbon celebrated the inauguration of their own production plant for coconut shell-based Activated Carbon.
Donauchem Romania opens a neu production and office facility in Lehliu Gara.
2013 Donau Carbon Philippines doubles its production capacity.
Donau Chemie establishes a facility for products related to water technology.
2014 Donauchem Poland opens a new production site in Torun/Gluchowo.
2015 Establishment of Donauchem d.o.o. in Serbia.
Investment of Donau Chemie accounting to about 7 Mio. Euro in the extension of the electrolysis in Brückl.
2016 Donauchem Hungary opens a new administrative and production site.
Donau Chemie Pischelsdorf celebrates its centenary.
2017 Donauchem Poland opens a new production site in Lubna/Warsaw.
Donauchem Poland is celebrating its 15th anniversary.
2018 Donau Chemie has successfully completed the securing of the K20 contaminated site in Brückl.
2019 Donau Chemie celebrates groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of an amidosulfonic acid production plant.
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