Steel production begins in 1843

Riesa's long Tradition.

Important milestones over the years:

1725 to 1945

1996 to 2004

1945 to 1990

2006 to 2010

1991 to 1995



1725 First mention of iron and steel production in the Riesa area.


1843 An application submitted in 1842 is approved and work begins on the erection of an ironworks in Riesa. The founders were the brothers Heinrich and Alexander Schönberg. Following the example of existing works in England, ore and coal are smelted to pig iron in puddling furnaces with the aid of steam hammers. The erection of a rolling mill provides for further processing of the steel.


1849 Count von Einsiedel acquires the steelworks.


End of 19th century The growing significance of the railways and mechanical engineering open the door to new fields of application. Axles and junction plates are important products of the Riesa smelting plant. The manufacturing of patent-welded tube commences in the additionally erected tubeworks. Thanks to its advantageous location on the navigable River Elbe and the Dresden-Leipzig railway line, Riesa assumes a leading position in heavy industry.


1911 Erection of the first 110 kV overhead power transmission line in Europe, from Lauchhammer to Riesa, brings significant improvement of the production conditions in the steelworks.


Up to 1945 Manufacturing of the most diverse steel products. During the First and Second World Wars, these products are above all components for the armaments industry.


1945/46 Complete dismantling of the steelworks as payment of war reparations to the Soviet Union.


1947 In February, the first post-war steel flows at the Riesa "Iron Construction and Section Mill".


1949-1989 The Riesa steelworks is integrated into the planned economy of the GDR. With its own out-patient health centre, cultural and sports facilities and holiday homes, it also caters for the social and cultural needs of the workforce, and thereby  acquires the reputation of a model industrial enterprise.


1990 After German unification, the joint-stock company "Stahl- und Walzwerk Riesa AG" is founded with the objective of preserving existing jobs. A combination of technically out-dated equipment and the collapse of traditional markets in Eastern Europe, however, show this to be a futile undertaking.


1991 Italian steel producer Feralpi Siderurgica acquires a 230,000 m² site with plans to erect a modern steelworks. The old works is almost completely dismantled in the course of site preparation.


1992 Elbe-Stahlwerke Feralpi GmbH (ESF) is founded with roots on historical soil. Riesa celebrates its entry into the modern era of steel production. The works comprises a 75 t electric arc furnace, a ladle furnace, a modern 4-line continuous casting plant and continuous bar and wire rolling train for reinforcing steels. As one of the most modern facilities in Europe, it incorporates various instruments to ensure compliance with all environmental protection demands both within and around the works.


1994 The first steel flows in the new production facilities.


1995 Inauguration of the rolling mill. Since this time, 500,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel have left the steelworks every year.


1996 A third phase of construction enables the commencement of cold processing. The product range is thus expanded to include high-quality drawn steels in coil form.


1999 Founding of Elbe-Schrott-Recycling GmbH (ESR) and erection of a shredder plant alongside the steelworks. This combination ensures an efficient and cost-effective supply of scrap steel.


2001 Production figures reach approx. 600,000 tonnes of steel and around 480,000 tonnes of rolling steel. This output is achieved with 370 employees.


2002 Feralpi Drahtwerke (DW) commences production of standard and special reinforcement meshes. Elbe-Stahlwerke Feralpi GmbH reduces its electrical energy input in favour of an oxygen-gas mixture. To this end, an air decomposition plant from the company "Air Liquide" is erected on the works site and avoids the risky transportation of liquid oxygen by tank wagon.


2003 Merging of Elbe-Schrott-Recycling GmbH into Elbe-Stahlwerke Feralpi GmbH.


2004 Feralpi Holding S.p.A. is founded in Italy and takes over the management of the Feralpi companies at home and abroad.


2006 Installation of a new activated carbon injection system for waste gas purification. Spacers are added to the product range of Feralpi Drahtwerke.


2008 With a workforce of almost 600 employees, Elbe-Stahlwerke Feralpi GmbH delivers approx. 1,000,000 tonnes of finished products.


2010 Dioxin measurements reach their lowest level in the history of the company.