Rhine brown

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Rheinbraun AG

legal form AG
founding 1908 (predecessor RAG)
1959 (merger)
resolution 2003
Reason for dissolution Merger with sister company RWE Power
Seat Cologne
Branch Mining and power industry

Share of RM 300 in Rheinische AG for lignite mining and briquette production from July 27, 1929
Administration building of RWE Power (formerly Rheinbraun) in Cologne's green belt

Rheinbraun (formerly Rheinische AG for lignite mining and briquette production from 1908 , RAG for short , from 1960 to 1989 Rheinische Braunkohlenwerke AG ) is a former lignite mining and energy supply company that operated opencast mines , power plants , briquette factories and refining operations in the Rhenish lignite district .

Since October 2003, Rheinbraun has been completely absorbed by RWE Power AG . The name Rheinbraun wear since only subsidiaries of RWE Power, which for the distribution of performance products from the brown coal (z. B. pulverized lignite ) are responsible.

Company history

The company was founded in 1898 as a trade union (later AG ) Fortuna with headquarters in Bedburg . In 1908 Fortuna merged with the Liblarer Grube Donatus and the Brühler Gruhlwerke to form the Rheinische Aktiengesellschaft für lignite mining and briquette production (RAG) based in Cologne . In 1910/12 the company entered the electricity industry through its subsidiary Rheinisches Elektrizitätswerk im Braunkohlenrevier AG and supplied a. a. the city of Cologne with electricity.

As a result, the company became a major German lignite company under the leadership of Paul Silverberg from Bedburg . In 1924 a stake in Harpener Bergbau AG was acquired , which was gradually expanded until 1933.

In the meantime, however, the company came under the spotlight of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Elektrizitätswerk (RWE), which wanted to acquire the Fortuna deposits to supplement its own rodder pit in order to be able to supply the Goldenberg power plant with lignite on a permanent basis . In 1933, after an intrigue by Friedrich Flick , Albert Vögler and Fritz Thyssen against Paul Silverberg, RWE took over the company and concluded a corporate agreement between Roddergrube and RAG.

In 1934, RAG became a founding member of Braunkohle-Petrol AG (BRABAG) and gradually acquired the largest share of shares in the company until 1944. In addition, in 1937, RAG founded Union Rheinische Braunkohlen fuel AG as a subsidiary , which, among other things, produced synthetic fuels from local lignite in Wesseling using the Bergius-Pier process .

The end of 1959 it came under pressure from the Rheinisch-Westfälische Elektrizitätswerk AG and due to the increasing economic difficulties for large merger in the Rhenish mining area: RAG and Roddergrube joined with the Lignite Industry AG from Weisweiler (now part of Eschweiler ) and the lignite mines Neurath AG from Düsseldorf under the new company Rheinische Braunkohlenwerke AG .

In 1989 the company name was changed to Rheinbraun AG . Rheinbraun was run as a wholly owned subsidiary in the RWE Group. Around 15 percent of electrical energy in West Germany was obtained from lignite from Rheinbraun AG.

Locations affected by the resettlement, here near Holzweiler , protested against Rheinbraun

Rheinbraun operated its own coal rail network for coal transport , which was transferred to RWE Power. These lines are electrified with 50  Hz single-phase alternating current of 6 kV, which is why special locomotives were purchased. Today this is the only application of 50 Hz single-phase alternating current for rail traction in the old federal states. (The Höllentalbahn in the Black Forest was changed from 50 Hz to 16 23  Hz in 1960. )

After the merger between RWE and VEW in 2000, the name was changed to RWE Rheinbraun AG . In the course of this restructuring, the lignite power stations in the Rhenish lignite district were assigned to RWE Rheinbraun AG. Thus the pure lignite miner and refiner had become a lignite generator. At the same time, RWE Power AG was created, whose core business is power generation in hard coal, nuclear and run-of-river power plants.

In October 2003, as part of the restructuring of the entire RWE Group, the two electricity-generating companies RWE Rheinbraun AG and RWE Power AG were merged under the name RWE Power AG , based in Essen and Cologne .

Only the companies of some former Rheinbraun subsidiaries, which are dedicated to the sale of open-cast mining-related services and products, still contain the name "Rheinbraun".

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Boris Gehlen: Paul Silverberg (1876-1959). An entrepreneur, Steiner, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-515-09090-2 , pp. 430-465.
  2. Wolfgang Benz (Ed.): Journal for History Science. Volume 51. Verlag der Wissenschaften, 2003, p. 497.
  3. VDI (ed.): History of technology. Volume 65. Association of German Engineers, 1998, p. 151.
  4. Gustav Stolper (ed.): The German economist. Journal for Politics and Economics. Volume 14. Berlin, 1938, p. 1614.


  • Boris Gehlen: The Rheinische Aktiengesellschaft for Lignite Mining and Briquette Production (RAG) - a family business? In: Susanne Hilger, Ulrich S. Soénius (Ed.): Networks - Succession - Social Capital. Family business in the Rhineland in the 19th and 20th centuries . Cologne 2009, ISBN 978-3-933025-45-6 , pp. 121-138 .

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