Пунане-Кундский - AS "Kunda Nordic Tsement"
AS "Kunda Nordic Tsement"
At the end of 1860s the owner of Kunda Manor John Girard de Soucanton became interested in the possibility of producing cement using local marl and Gault as raw materials. The first tons of cement were manufactured under his leadership in 1870. By 1882 the production of the factory was good enough to provide the cement of Kunda with the first prize from the national industry fair held in Moscow. In 1886 a narrow-gauge railway line connecting the company with the port was completed, and another factory was built during the period from 1892 to 1898. Since 1893 steam engines were used for mining raw material, and a hydroelectric power station was completed at the same time (the first in all Estonia). By 1895 the company had become a modern factory with a hydroelectric power station, barrel factory and sawmill of its own. In the following year a private railway was completed connecting Kunda and Rakvere (19 km). In 1898 the cement production grew to 51,000 tons and 2/3 of the production was exported. On December 30, 1911 Port Kunda Ltd. was founded and next year the third cement factory started operation. In 1920 Th. Hansen became the directory of the factory (supervised the factory 1920-1940 and 1942-1943). During his time the factory was transferred to oil-shale fuel.
In 1940 the factory was nationalized and a year later it was renamed Punane Kunda (Red Kunda). At the beginning of World War II the factory's production was stopped due to evacuation of the equipment. The operation was restarted in spring of the year 1942 (27% of the total capacity). In 1945 N. Vavilov became the general manager of the factory (lead the forces 1945-1948, 1960-1973). During the years 1957-1958 building of a new factory, residential district and motor depot was started. In 1960 construction works of the cement factory were acclaimed an all-union Komsomol shock construction. Manufacturing of oil-shale ash Portland cement was restarted in the old factory the same year. In 1962 rotary kiln II was commissioned, and the asbestos cement plant was created.
In 1964 the old cement factory was closed down. The number of employees in the new factory had grown to 1870 and in the factory building administration there were 413 employees. In December 1973 the cement production crossed the threshold of 1 million tons. At the same time Red Kunda became one of the greatest environmental problems of Soviet Estonia. In 1992 Kunda Nordic Cement Ltd. formed as a successor of the state-operated cement company, was born. During the years 1993-2000 cement manufacturing in Kunda was thoroughly renovated. The main goal was to eliminate dust pollution from clinker kilns and cement mills. They were provided with filters required for exhaust cleaning. In 1999 the company closed the local electricity and heat production plant operating on natural gas. In 2008 Kunda Nordic is a modern Estonian company offering constructional cements, crushed limestone and port services to customers both from Estonia and abroad. The company belongs to the HeidelbergCement Group. The owners of AS Kunda Nordic Tsement are HeidelbergCement Sweden AB (Sweden), who holds 75% of the shares and CRH Europe Holding BV (the Netherlands), who holds 25% of the shares. AS Kunda Nordic Tsement belongs to HeidelbergCement Northern Europe, a member of HeidelbergCement Group, which is one of the leading building material producers worldwide. Share capital is 374 million kroons.