Historical milestones

The history of Ercros: from the first factory built in 1817 to the present day

Logo de Ercros

Over a century of history

Ercros is the result of the merger in 1989 of two companies, S.A. Cros and Unión Explosivos Río Tinto, S.A. (ERT), the two most important industrial groups in Spain at that time.

The history of Ercros dates back to 1817, when Francisco Cros set up his first chemical factory in Barcelona. In 1904, the company was incorporated as a public limited company and renamed S.A. Cros.

Like S.A. Cros, ERT was a company with a long tradition in the Spanish chemical industry. Its origins go back to Biscay, in the Basque Country, when, in 1872, the Sociedad Española de la Pólvora Dinamita (Spanish Dynamite Gunpowder Company) was set up. From this company, Unión Española de Explosivos, S.A. (UEE) was created 24 years later. In 1972 it merged with Compañía Española de Minas de Río Tinto, S.A., formed in 1954, and became ERT.

In 1987, S.A. Cros became the main shareholder of ERT, marking the beginning of a process that concluded in 1989 with the merger of both companies and the birth of Ercros.

In 2005, Ercros acquired the Aragonesas Group and a year later Derivados Forestales Group XXI.

Francisco Cros' first factory

Francisco Cros sets up his first chemical factory in Barcelona.

Foundation of Sociedad Española de la Pólvora Dinamita

The creation of Sociedad Española de la Pólvora Dinamita was the foundation on which Unión Española de Explosivos S.A. was established later in 1896.

Planta de electrólisis de la fábrica de Flix en 1974
Origins of the Flix factory

Chemische Fabrik Elektron and Elektrizitäts AG sets up the Flix Electrochemical Company (SQEF), which in 1897 began construction of the Flix factory, the oldest of Ercros' production centres and the first in Spain and the third in Europe to obtain chlorine by means of an electrolysis process.

S.A. Cros founded

Francisco Cros' company is established as a public limited company and renamed S.A. Cros.

Inicio de la actividad con electrolosis en Ercros
Energía e Industrias Aragonesas, S.A. (Eiasa) founded

Later in 1921, Eiasa opens the Sabiñánigo factory, dedicated to the manufacture of chlorates by means of electrolysis.

Imagen histórica de la fábrica de Cerdanyola
Creation of the Cerdanyola factory

The company Aiscondel, S.A. begins the production of moulding powders in a new factory in Cerdanyola. Later, this factory is sold to Aicar, S.A.

Aranjuez fue la primera fábrica de España en producir penicilina
Aranjuez, Spain's first penicillin factory

The Compañía Española de Penicilina y Antibióticos (Cepa), the predecessor of Ercros' Aranjuez factory, starts its activity and becomes the first company to manufacture penicillin in Spain.

Monzón, the result of industrial development in the 1950s

Etino Química, a subsidiary of Aiscondel-Hidro Nitro (later Aiscondel, S.A.), started up the Monzón factory with the opening of a chlorine-soda plant.

Logotipo de Explosivos Río Tinto (ERT)
Creation of ERT and opening of the Almussafes and Vila-seca II factories

UEE merges with Compañía Española de Minas de Río Tinto, S.A., which had been established in 1954, to become ERT.

Formol y Derivados, S.A. (Fydsa), a subsidiary of Derivados Forestales Group, S.A., starts operations at the Almussafes factory, dedicated to the production of formaldehyde and resins which were used to supply the wood and furniture industries in the area.

Aiscondel, S.A. opens the Vila-seca II factory, a pioneer in the Tarragona industrial park. The factory was initially dedicated to direct chlorination and, later, to the production of the PVC chain.

Former mercury electrolysis plant
The Tarragona industrial park expands with the Vila-seca I plant

EIASA builds the Vila-seca I factory, which will produce chlorine, caustic soda and its inorganic derivatives.

Planta de ácido nítrico
Opening of the third factory of the Tarragona complex

ERT opens the Tarragona factory dedicated to the production of nitric acid.

Integración de la fábrica de Flix
The pieces of the puzzle start to fit together

Through SQEF, the Flix factory is integrated into S.A. Cros.

Cepa, the owner of the Aranjuez factory, is acquired by ERT.

Saco de pentaeritritol de Polialco
Tortosa, the newest factory in Ercros' industrial park

S.A. Polialco opens the Tortosa factory dedicated to the manufacture of polyols by means of its own patented process. It is the only factory in Spain dedicated to such activity.

Instalaciones de Polialco en la fábrica de Tortosa
Acquisitions by Derivados Forestales

Derivados Forestales, S.A., owner of the Almussafes factory, acquires Aicar, S.A. and S.A. Polialco, owners of the Cerdanyola and Tortosa factories.

historia ercros 1985
The Aragonesas Group grows

Aiscondel S.A. joins the Aragonesas Group, with its Vila-seca II and Monzón factories.

Fusión Cros y ERT
Foundation of Ercros

In 1987, S.A. Cros becomes the main shareholder of ERT, which was the beginning of a process that concludes on 30 June 1989 with the merger of the two companies and the establishment of Ercros. S.A., which absorbs all the assets of both companies.

Fermentation plant in Aranjuez
CEPA spin-off

Following the establishment of Ercros, Cepa is split into two companies: Cepa and Fermentaciones y Síntesis Españolas, S.A. (Fyse). The former is sold, while the latter remains in Ercros and is dedicated to the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients at the current facilities in Aranjuez.

Former electrolysis plant at the Flix factory
100th anniversary of the Flix factory

Ercros' oldest operating factory has been in operation for a century since its opening. The celebration of the anniversary coincides with the commissioning of a new electrolysis plant, which renews the industrial facilities of this centre.

Logotipo de Grupo Derivados Forestales
Merger of Derivados Forestales' assets

Establishment of the holding company Derivados Forestales Group XXI, S.L., as a result of the merger of the assets of Derivados Forestales, S.A., Aicar, S.A. and S.A. Polialco.

Firma de la compra de Aragonesas en 2005
Grupo Aragonesas joins Ercros

On 2 June 2005, Ercros acquires the chemical division of Uralita, S.A., comprising Aragonesas, Industrias y Energías, S.A., Delsa and S.A. Poliaco, with their respective assets.

Firma de la compra de Derivados Forestales 2007
Derivados Forestales: the newest acquisition

On 19 May 2006, Ercros completes the acquisition of Derivados Forestales Group. The intermediate chemicals division takes in the group's assets.

Fábrica de Monzón desde el aire
Reorganisation of Ercros

As a result of the acquisitions that have been carried out, Ercros starts a reorganisation process through the Efficiency Improvement Plan (EIP), the aim of which is to concentrate on the most efficient factories and the most profitable products.

Palos de la Frontera
The Great Crisis hits Ercros

In order to adapt fixed costs to the lower demand caused by the Great Crisis, Ercros carries out an Adjustment Plan (AP) that involves a new concentration of its production capacity.

Junta de accionistas 2016
First dividend payment

The recovery of activity and the good economic outlook allow for the approval of the first dividend payment in the history of Ercros.

Demolition of the Flix factory electrolysis plant
Mercury technology ceases in the electrolysis plants

The ban on the use of mercury in electrolytic processes in Europe forces the Flix and Vila-seca I chlorine plants that operate with mercury to stop.

Ercros implements the Act Plan, initially designed to increase the capacity of the Vila-seca I and Sabiñánigo electrolytic plants that operate with membrane technology.

Centenario de la fábrica de Sabiñánigo
100th anniversary of Sabiñánigo

The Sabiñánigo factory celebrates its first hundred years and reaffirms its future with the inauguration of a new chlorine-soda production plant and a hydrochloric acid plant.

Chlorine-soda plant at the Sabiñánigo factory
Commissioning of new production capacity

Expansion of the Act Plan with new investments aimed at improving the energy efficiency of the Ercros industrial park and increasing the manufacturing capacity of the products in greatest demand.

Ercros regains the production volume of chlorine and soda it had before 2017 and increases production of PVC, swimming pool water treatment tablets, polyols and various active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Logo of the 3D Investment Plan
Towards a sustainable company: the 3D Plan

Launch of the 3D Strategic Plan for the period 2021-2025, the aim of which is to transform Ercros into a sustainable company. The plan is organised around three dimensions: diversification, digitalisation and decarbonisation. It contains 20 projects and contemplates an investment of 69 million euros.

La división farmacia de Ercros ha colaborado con un grupo de voluntarios de Aranjuez que están realizando en sus casas pantallas panorámicas de protección facial que pueden ser utilizadas en diferentes puestos de trabajo, tales como cajeros de supermercado, limpieza de viales, etc.
Ercros overcomes the covid pandemic

Ercros manages to overcome the covid pandemic, which affected the entire planet between 2020 and 2022, without having to shut down its facilities and being able to continue supplying its customers. The company is declared a supplier of essential services by the Spanish health administration.