Salt was mined in Switzerland 450 years ago. With the founding of the United Swiss Rhine Saltworks in 1909, however, a new chapter began. The foundation stone was laid 111 years ago for today's solidarity-based salt supply in all Swiss cantons and the Principality of Liechtenstein.
Swiss Saltworks can now look back on a history spanning more than 450 years – that’s how long salt has been extracted in Switzerland! Embark on a journey through the various eras of salt extraction, and discover the milestones in our company’s history.
Swiss Saltworks on the Rhine AG and Saline de Bex SA merged to form Schweizer Salinen AG.
The inauguration ceremony for Saldome2 took place. This is the largest wooden dome structure in Europe, with a capacity of some 100,000 tonnes of loose salt.
The Salt Shop at the Schweizerhalle saltworks was opened.
Saldome1 began operating.
Start of building work on the large storage hall for de-icing salt in Riburg. The Saldome is a spectacular wooden dome structure that can store 70,000 tonnes of salt. At the same time, the high-bay storage facility went into operation at Schweizerhalle and the starting shot for the construction of the production building was fired.
A start was made on the complete refurbishment of the final production, forwarding and storage departments at the Schweizerhalle saltworks.
The company changed its name and was known from now on as Saline de Bex SA.
A record year, with the heaviest snowfall of the century in February. The two saltworks together produced the record-breaking quality of 505,000 tonnes of salt. The quality management system at VSR was certified compliant with ISO standard 9001.
The Riburg saltworks celebrated its 150th anniversary. A striking mural was added to the silo tower at Riburg.
"Die Salzkammer", the company's museum, was opened in the newly renovated Villa Glenck. The SAP R/3 IT system went operational.
The canton of Vaud mandated the Société Vaudoise des Mines et Salines de Bex to handle the commercial distribution of salt and to levy the salt monopoly (salt tax).
Schweizerhalle saltworks celebrated its 150th anniversary with over 600 guests.
Les Mines et Salines de Bex opened to the public.
Construction of the new administration building at Schweizerhalle, directly adjacent to the former directors' villa.
The Concordat agreement between the cantons (except Vaud) governing the salt trade came into effect. The newly-founded canton of Jura joined in 1979 and the Principality of Liechtenstein followed suit in 1990.
A salt licking block press machine was commissioned at Schweizerhalle. The complete refurbishment of the plant at the Riburg saltworks began, and was to continue until 1973. The Rheinfelden saltworks site was sold.
For the first time, the Schweizerhalle saltworks supplied iodine- and fluoride-enriched salt to the canton of Zurich. The rotary drilling process was deployed for the first time in the drilling fields at the Riburg saltworks.
The electrical supply station was commissioned.
Time card control was introduced for the workers at Riburg. The Rheinfelden saltworks was not converted to electrical power, but instead was closed down in favour of the Riburg saltworks. The site was still used until 1952 as an internment camp, for military accommodation and as a transit camp for war returnees.
There was a shortage of coal during the second world war. A large electrical steam boiler was installed and operated at the Schweizerhalle saltworks. The first coal-heated energy-saving evaporator plant with thermocompression was built at the Riburg saltworks.
Free-flowing GRESIL® table salt was launched on the market.
Riburg introduced the iodisation of salt. A brine pipeline leading to the spa hotels in Rheinfelden was built.
Drilling technology was deployed to search for salt deposits; this process is still used nowadays to leach the salt out of the rock by injecting spring water.
Iodisation of salt was introduced at Schweizerhalle. The first truck was purchased.
The Schweizerhalle saltworks and the Aargau saltworks at Rheinfelden and Riburg founded "Swiss Saltworks on the Rhine AG". The private company was converted into a stock corporation (AG) with cantonal stakeholders. Kaiseraugst saltworks was definitively closed.