Press release


Ljubljana, 13 December 2022 – SIJ Acroni, the largest company in the SIJ Group, celebrated its 30th anniversary at the end of this year. The last thirty years, during which the company has been operating under the name Acroni, have been marked by numerous investments and strong development, paving the way for the company to become one of the world's most prominent stainless-steel producers. On the 30th anniversary, they did not forget about the local community, to which they are inextricably linked and to which they keep giving back, and celebrated the anniversary together with residents, giving the stage to the excellent local artists – the Accordion Orchestra of the Jesenice Secondary School of Music and singer Alja Wolte – Sula. Traditionally, they were also visited by the little carol singers of the Koroška Bela Primary School.

30 years of SIJ Acroni – a period of numerous investments and strong development

"Thirty years may not sound like a lot when you put it next to the more than 700-year tradition of ironworking in the Upper Carniola. But the journey that SIJ Acroni has taken in the last thirty years has been just as magnificent. The founding of Acroni was a beginning of a completely new era for the iron and steel industry in Jesenice, marked by enormous technological progress and a strong focus on development, based on numerous investments. Over the years, more than EUR 586 million have been invested in new equipment that has contributed to greater cost-efficiency and improvements in quality, safety, and environmental protection. Under the new ownership, investment has been stepped up even further, with more than EUR 350 million invested over the last fifteen years," said mag. Branko Žerdoner, CEO of SIJ Acroni.

The last 30 years have been a period of great change in the steel industry. At Javornik, rolling has been abandoned in favour of heat treatment of steel plates. The rolling of quarto plates has moved to the Blooming - Steckel Rolling Mill, where the rolling mill has already been replaced to allow the rolling of 2,500 mm wide plates. Among the numerous investments made in the last period, when Acroni became a member of SIJ Group, the most noteworthy are a new continuous casting machine and an AOD converter in the Steel Plant, a quarto plates transportation line and a new blooming mill in the Hot Rolling Mill, a line for the cleaning of hot-rolled strips in the Cold Rolling Mill. Among the investments that have positively impacted the environment in the last period, special mention should be made of the magnetic separation line for steel scrap, which was commissioned at the end of last year.

Pantz Award 2022 with a charity touch

In this jubilee year, the Pantz Award for lifetime achievement in metallurgy and related sciences was also awarded. This prestigious award went to Slavko Kanalec, former CEO of SIJ Acroni and today Chief Production, Technology, and Investments Officer of the SIJ Group. The Pantz Award was presented to Slavko Kanalc by mag. Branko Žerdoner, CEO of SIJ Acroni, who was the first to congratulate Kanalec for his outstanding contribution to the development of SIJ Acroni. This year's Pantz Award winner donated the financial prize he received together with the award to the Koroška Bela Primary School for entrepreneurship and technical class to encourage children's interest in technical sciences.

"Slavko Kanalec is an outstanding and renowned expert in the field of metallurgy who has remained loyal to the SIJ Group from the time of his studies until today. His in-depth thinking and understanding of technological production processes have been a key contributor to optimising numerous processes, guiding development, and increasing competitiveness. He has always paid great attention to occupational health and safety and has been actively involved in the introduction of a system of continuous improvement and innovation, which he continues to direct with a dedication to this day. With his help, we have been successful in implementing important innovations that have been recognised and rewarded by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He has authored and co-authored numerous expert articles in the fields of steel production technology optimisation and new steels development, social responsibility of industrial enterprises, the transition of the steel industry to low-carbon technologies, circular economy, and innovation," said the Pantz Award 2022 winner justification.

SIJ Acroni grants the Pantz Award to the most distinguished individual who, through his activities, has particularly influenced the development and growth of the iron and steel industry in Jesenice and, through his life's work in metallurgy and other activities, has had a significant impact on the company's growth and performance. The Pantz Award is named after Lambert Pantz, technical director of the Carniolan Industrial Company.





SIJ Group is the biggest Slovenian vertically integrated metallurgical group. Its products occupy leading positions in European and global niche steel markets. It is among the ten largest business groups in Slovenia, the largest Slovenian exporters, and the most important employers in Slovenia.



Find out more at:
SIJ – Slovenska industrija jekla, d.d.
Katja Mramor Krumpak, Head of Corporate Communications
Corporate Communications
Phone: +386 1 242 98 59
Mobile: +386 41 814 041