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History

Eka from the 1890's to today

As part of the former Swedish Nobel Industries, we can trace our history all the way back to the 1640's. Our own proud history starts in 1898 when Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prize, was among those who started EKA -Elektrokemiska Aktiebolaget. Chlorine and alkali were our first products. Now we manufacture sodium chlorate, hydrogen peroxide, paper chemicals for the pulp and paper industry as well as products for the specialty chemicals market such as Kromasil and Expancel. 


Learn more about what Eka was doing in the:

00's > 90's > 80's > 70's > 60's > 50's and 40's > 30's > 1895  to start >

  • Get your copy of the AkzoNobel History book


    1646

    Bofors forge is founded in Sweden.

    1777

    Det Holmbladske Selskab, now Sadolin, is founded in Denmark.

    1792

    Painter and decorator Wiert Willem Sikkens starts making Sikkens lacquers in the Dutch town of Groningen.

    1871

    KemaNobel is established in Sweden. More than a hundred years later, in 1984, KemaNobel will merge with Bofors to form Nobel Industries, which will in turn be acquired by Akzo in 1994.

    1895
    Elektrokemiska Aktiebolaget (EKA) founded in Bengtsfors, Sweden by Alfred Nobel (founder of the Nobel Prize), C. W. Collander and Managing Director Rudolf Liljeqvist. Chlorine and alkali are the first products. 

    1924
    EKA moves to Bohus, north of Göteborg. 

    1927
    EKA manufactures 3,000 tons of chemicals in Bohus. Production of water glass starts. 

    1930
    Many new chemicals are added to the product range; i.e. ferric chloride, hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide.

    History 1

     

     

     

     

    1940
    Wartime production with many specialty chemicals. Among others, metasilicate directly for consumers use. 

    1951
    EKA is acquired by the forest company, Iggesunds Bruk AB. 

    1956
    Start of ammonia production. 

    1968
    New hydrogen peroxide production, based on a Russian license.

    1970
    Environment considerations grown in importance in all sections of society. Restrictions on mercury emissions.

    1972
    New chlorine-alkali plant in Bohus, with employees totalling 460 employees. Large investments in environmental protection. 

    History 2 

     

     

    History 3

    1980
    Sodium metasilicate production in Maastricht, the Netherlands; Eka’s first plant outside Bohus. 

    1983
    Growth of paper chemicals, based on Compozil. Subsidiary established in Finland.

    1986
    The company is acquired by Nobel Industries and becomes Eka Nobel AB. As a result of the merger, sodium chlorate becomes a major Eka product, with operations expanded to North America.

    1990
    Merger with Stora Kemi, Alby Klorat, and Albright & Wilson paper chemicals division. Heavy investments in new plants. Eka runs production in 14 countries around the world. Lignox, a patented hydrogen peroxide bleaching process is introduced.

    1991
    Hydrogen peroxide production starts in Venezuela.

    1994
    Merger of Nobel Industries and Akzo. Akzo Nobel is the new company, of which Eka Chemicals represents one of thirty business units.

    1995
    Eka celebrates its 100-year anniversary. New paper chemical plants in Brazil and Finland. Paracetic acid introduced as a bleaching agent.

    1996
    Chlorine-alkali production is transferred to Akzo Nobel Base Chemicals and the silicates business is transferred to the joint venture Akzo PQ-Silica (APS). New paper chemicals plants established in Thailand and Indonesia.

    1997
    Colloidal-silica production unit acquired in Taiwan. Eka Chemicals acquires Enso Paperikemia, with plants in Oulu, Finland, thereby extending Eka operations to paper coating. 

    1998
    Expansion of sodium chlorate capacity in Mo i Rana, Norway and Talcahuano, Chile. Sodium percarbonate introduced as a bleaching agent for detergents.

    1999
    Paper chemicals operations in South Korea acquired and a new plant established in People’s Republic of China. Over-capacity of hydrogen peroxide in Europe and North America.

    History 4

     

     

     Eka Engineering sodium chlorate pit.jpg_product

     

     

     

     

    2000
    Current president Jan Svärd appointed. Expansion of paper chemicals production at Trollhättan, Sweden and in Gunsan, South Korea. Acquisition of Hopton Technologies Inc. in the US adds coatings technology to operations.

    2001
    Eka starts manufacturing chlorine dioxide on-site at pulp mills in Norrsundet and Karlsborg.

    2005
    First Chemical Island in Brazil. Eka takes full responsibility for production and supply of all chemicals to the Veracel chemical pulp mill.

    2005 Fifteen remotely monitored, chlorine dioxide plants in operation at customer sites.

    2006
    Purate is launched for the disinfection of drinking water and slime elimination in paper mills, and for small-scale bleaching of non-wood pulps.
    A second paper chemicals plant is established in Guangzhou, China.

    2008
    A new R&D center is opened in Bohus, Sweden

    2011
    Early in 2011, we announced our biggest ever investment in Latin America in order to build a new plant to supply the world’s largest pulp mill at Eldorado Celulose e Papel in Brazil. Learn more 

    And, Eka stepped into Russia   by signing a long-term joint venture agreement with Ilim Group, Russia’s largest producer of forest products, regarding the sodium chlorate production plant located in Koryazhma in  the Arkhangelsk Oblast region.

    2012
    Another pulp Chemical Island facility in Brazil in order to supply the Suzano Maranhão pulp mill. This is AkzoNobel’s second largest investment in Brazil in the past 12 months and further expands Eka's sustainability-focused Chemical Island concept.

    Chemical_Island.jpg_product

     

     

    Purate Water droplets_product