History of Styromag and its operation in Oberdorf
The company’s headquarter is in Oberdorf, a parish of St. Katharein/Laming in Styria. Magnesite in the area of the upper village are known and mentioned in documents since 1870.
The predecessor company of Styromag had already in 1870 in Kraubath in Leoben built a shaft furnace. It was thus the first industrial caustic calcined magnesite producer in the world.
In 1906 began in Oberdorf the industrial mining of magnesite. Initially, raw material was transported with horse-drawn vehicles to Kraubath for smelting.
1911 a grinding plant in Oberdorf as well as the first shaft furnace for the production of caustic calcined magnesite was set up. Just one year later 3 further kilns were built.
In the 20th century Oberdorf witnessed a checkered history. It began when the then Oberdorfer Magnesitwerke GmbH became part of the Styrian Magnesite AG (later Veitscher Magnesitwerke AG). During the term of membership of that group the mines in Oberdorf were systematically expanded and modernized.
This was followed in 1985 by the construction of the first and only fluidized bed furnace for the production of caustic calcined magnesite in the world. This fluidized bed furnace, which was for more than 25 years the backbone of the caustic magnesia production in Oberdorf achieved a product improvement by extracting undesirable by-products from the bed material.
1984 Oberdorf as part of Magindag AG was outsourced from Veitscher magnesite AG. After the insolvency of the Magindag AG the site in Oberdorf was taken over by the new Styromag, Styromagnesit Steirische Magnesitindustrie GmbH. Responsible for the acquisition was then the sole shareholder of Styromag – Dr. Ernst H. Stefan – who as managing partner of Duralit Austria GesmbH was the most important customer for caustic calcined magnesite of the site in Oberdorf that was then used by the Duralit for the production of magnesite industrial flooring (Sorel cement).
100 years after the establishment of the first blast furnace in Oberdorf – 2011 – a new multiple hearth furnace is completed and thus the output of caustic calcined magnesite in Oberdorf will be increased by 50%. With the establishment of the furnace floor important and strategic targets are reached. Thus, the Styromag is able to produce for the first time granular material (caustic).
On the other hand, with the second combustion unit the supply for the customers is guaranteed. In addition, with the special control of the combustion process in the multiple hearth furnace, individual customer requirements are met.