Oesterreichisch-Alpine Montangesellschaft, founded in 1881 by merging of the Styrian and the Carinthian iron and steel works centred at Leoben-Donawitz. The production site was chosen because of the vicinity of the iron ore mines at Erzberg mountain (Styria), Hüttenberg mountain (Carinthia), and local brown coal extraction sites. Hard coal was imported from Bohemia and Moravia. The most important buyers of steel were shipyards on the Austrian Adriatic.
In 1893 Donawitz was the first European iron and steel works to introduce the processing of crude iron in a Siemens-Martin open-hearth furnace; the then largest European blast furnace (300 t per day) was built here in 1902. In 1907 Donawitz operated Europe´s largest integrated steel works facilities. The period after 1918 saw several changes of ownership; the majority of shares was transferred from Italian to German ownership in 1926 (Stinnes and Siemens-Schuckert). In 1938 the Österreichisch-Alpine Montangesellschaft was merged with the newly founded, Linz-based "Reichswerke AG Alpine Montanbetriebe "Hermann Göring´". Independent again after 1946, the Österreichisch-Alpine Montangesellschaft was nationalised (Nationalised Industry). New technologies, especially the LD process, which went into operation in 1953, and increased demand led to an expansion of the plant with branch plants in Zeltweg, Krieglach and Judenburg etc. In a move towards consolidation of Austrian heavy industry, the group was merged with VÖEST AG (VOEST, Vereinigte Österreichische Eisen- und Stahlwerke AG) on January 1, 1973 to form VOEST-Alpine AG. After several restructuring moves within the group in the years that followed, the main plant of what used to be the Österreichisch Alpine Montangesellschaft at Donauwitz now belongs to VOEST-ALPINE STAHL AG.
Literature: M. Scherb and I. Morawetz (eds.), Stahl und Eisen bricht. Industrie und staatliche Politik in Österreich, 1986.