Brief history of OKD

OKD in the socialist Czechoslovakia


In the course of its two-hundred-year mining history in the Ostrava region, many mergers and takeovers of smaller mining companies by larger ones happened - sometimes friendly, sometimes less so - thus creating entities that had a better chance of facing competition and had a better position on the market. Prior to the Second World War, only four mining companies remained active:


  • Báňská a hutní společnost (Mining and metallurgical company)
  • Vítkovické kamenouhelné doly v Moravské Ostravě (Vítkovice hard-coal mines in Moravian Ostrava)
  • Severní dráha Ferdinandova a. s. v Moravské Ostravě (Emperor Ferdinand Northern Railway in Moravian Ostrava)
  • Kamenouhelné doly a koksovny Jana Wilczka ve Slezské Ostravě (Jan Wilczek’s hard-coal mines and coking plants in Silesian Ostrava)


The Second World War intervened in this industry for the first time as mining and all related activities got fully subordinated to the German war economy. After the war, national administration took over. Shortly after, all mines and some other industrial companies in the country were nationalized by the President’s Decree no. 100/45.
Based on this decree, Ostravsko-karvinské kamenouhelné doly, a state-owned company, was established on 7 March 1946 with the retroactive effect as of 1 January 1946. The company included also coking plants, preparation plants, power plants, farms and forests.


Another change took place in 1953 when the company was dissolved retroactively as of 31 December 1951 and Kombinát OKD was established performing centralized control. It managed activities of the newly set-up companies called “trusts” from 1955 onwards.


However, not even this structure lasted long. It was cancelled in 1957 and the so-called VHJ (production economic units) were created the following year. Kombinát OKD was replaced with Sdružení OKD (OKD Association). The hitherto independent coking plants were integrated in this new company.


Another restructuring took place on 1 July 1965. As competences were broadened, the company name changed to Ostravsko-karvinské doly (Ostrava-Karviná Mines). This business trust was led by the Headquarters controlling all business units of the former Sdružení OKD. Then, in 1977 a state-owned economic organization of OKD, koncern based in Ostrava was established. It was dissolved on 31 December 1988 to be replaced on 1 January of the following year by OKD, state-owned company.


The state-controlled phase of OKD’s development was ended on 1 January 1991 by the Federal Minister of the Economy dissolving the state-owned company and establishing a joint-stock company of OKD owned by the government.