History of SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group
14th -16th centuries
The early steel industry in Slovenia started in small bloomeries (a type of furnace once used for smelting iron), which over time grew into larger units, i.e. smaller industrial plants where iron ore was melted and processed into iron or steel.
Second half of the 19th century
In their struggle to survive, smaller and uncompetitive bloomeries started to merge into ironworks. New technological and metallurgical developments around the world then made it possible to build the first steel furnaces and new rolling mills in Slovenia.
Between the two World Wars, the Slovenian ironworks facilities produced as much as two thirds of iron capacity in the former Yugoslavia, while, following WWII, the Slovenian iron industry successfully grew through major investment in modern technology.
Because foreign markets demanded a unitary presence, the division of production programs and specialized production, in 1969 the Jesenice, Ravne and Štore ironworks merged into the United Company of Slovenian Steelworks. In 1973 four more processing companies joined the United Company of Slovenian Steelworks, namely Veriga Lesce, Plamen Kropa, Žična Celje and Tovil and the Metallurgical Institute Ljubljana.
When Slovenia separated from Yugoslavia, the Slovenian iron industry experienced one of its harshest economic crises as a result of losing traditional markets in the former Yugoslavia, and its lack of preparedness for international competition. For that reason, in 1991 and 1992 the Slovenian Government adopted a renovation and restructuring program for the Slovenian steel industry, following the principle of nationalization – renovation - privatization.
During this period the state sold some companies which were part of the major system of Slovenian Steelworks.
In 2005, the companies that remained in the former Slovenian Steelworks system were renamed SIJ – Slovenian Steel Industry. SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group comprised two ironworks, Acroni and Metal Ravne; the industrial knives producer Noži Ravne; the electrode producer Elektrode Jesenice; the nail and rod producer SUZ; the service and disability company the ZIP Center and the Železarna Jesenice company, which is in charge of renovations and the sale of land and real estate in the area of the former ironworks in Jesenice.
In March 2007, the privatization process was concluded as the Republic of Slovenia sold 55.35% of its share in SIJ to the Russian KOKS Group, which thereby became its majority owner. The KOKS Group is run by Industrial Metallurgical Holding – IMH.
Major investments amounting to €437.8 million were injected into the modernization and development of production and technology, into the raw material base, service centers and the sales network.
SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group is one of the largest Slovenian exporters – our exports amount to more than €570 million and represent more than 85% of our income – and also one of the largest employers in Slovenia, with more than 3,100 employees.
End of 2014
The modernization and unification of the corporate identity of SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group was completed in order to achieve coherent communications, greater recognition of the whole Group, and more successive appearances in the market.