The brick manufacturer Ziegelwerke Otto Bergmann GmbH from North Rhine-Westphalia ceased production of bricks at the turn of the year 2022/2023. Production at the Steinheim site was taken over by Wienerberger on 3 January 2023, and production at the Kalletal site was discontinued at the end of the year 2022.
Energy policy framework conditions as too great a challenge
As the management stated in a letter dated 20 December 2022, this step was taken in the conviction „that it is the best solution for Otto Bergmann GmbH and its workforce“.
The situation for the company had been tense since the beginning of the year. The letter describes the energy policy framework conditions as major challenges for the company. According to the management, „everything had been done until late autumn to stabilise the company economically beyond 2022.“ But it has not been possible to protect the company from the ongoing and disruptive effects on the energy market. Therefore, according to the information, the management „decided to sell the Steinheim site to Wienerberger for the sake of the continuation and for the employees“.
Steinheim site remains active under new management
Brick production at the Steinheim site in East Westphalia was taken over by Wienerberger GmbH on 3 January 2023. This included all 35 employees, who, according to Otto Bergmann and Wienerberger in agreement, will work for Wienerberger Germany in the future. According to the Wienerberger press release, the production of highly insulating Poroton hollow bricks will be continued there. With this acquisition, the Group intends to expand production capacities and strengthen its regional market position.
In addition, the location is interesting because it is firmly anchored in the region and customers are located in very close proximity. According to a letter dated 20 December 2022, the former operator Otto Bergmann is confident that this will create future prospects for the former employees.
The plant was built by Otto Bergmann in 1997 and specialises in hollow bricks. At the turn of the year 2021/2022, there were still plans for investments in the site, including an additional tunnel kiln and a warehouse.
Kalletal site discontinues production - future uncertain
At the second production site in Kalletal, also in East Westphalia, production was discontinued at the end of the year. According to the company‘s management, this was necessary. Efforts are being made to support the workers to find a new job.
Regarding the future of the site, the management said: „We will decide calmly at a later time whether there will be commercial or other operations here again in the future.“
The Bergemann family had taken over the site, the former Schröder brickworks in 1932. Otto Bergmann took over the management 30 years later. His son-in-law Andreas Schwier joined the management in 1998. The company was a member of Unipor Ziegel Marketing GmbH.