Berndorf looks beyond the borders of Austria
Following privatisation and the removal of many political and public-sector constraints, Berndorf AG struck out on new international paths in the 1990s. Berndorf Besteck and Berndorf Bäderbau were the first Berndorf Group companies to turn their attentions to newly accessible Eastern Europe. The opening up of the borders meant that these companies could gain entry to new markets right on their doorstep.
Austria joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, at a time when Berndorf AG was also broadening its horizons. Many new companies in locations far from the Triestingtal valley joined the Group, including Silica Verfahrenstechnik GmbH in Berlin, Aichelin Ges.m.b.H. in Mödling and Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG in Ternitz.
These three companies were firmly established in a sector that was becoming increasingly decisive for many businesses in Europe: energy. Silica built plant for cleaning and conditioning natural gas in temporary underground storage; Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment produced custom drill-string components for tapping previously inaccessible oil and gas deposits; and Aichelin manufactured industrial furnaces for applications including the hardening of wind turbine components.
Berndorf’s strategy of international expansion progressed rapidly. In 1998, when the company was transitioning from a state-owned to a private enterprise, just five percent of the Group’s employees worked outside Austria. By 2003, only eight years after Austria had joined the EU, the figure had jumped to 60 percent. This international growth enabled the Group to secure existing jobs and create new employment opportunities for skilled workers in Austria.
Science and technology in this time
2002: The euro is introduced as a single currency in the European Union
Aichelin - Industrieöfen