The decision about the construction of an aluminium processing plant was taken in 1949. The plant was to be erected in southern Poland, somewhere between Silesia and Kraków. Władysław Remin, the first manager of the plant and the chief designer, was driving around the area seeking a proper location for months. To no avail.
When he was totally frustrated, his driver made a suggestion: “Director, let’s go through Kęty, maybe you’ll find something there?”… Along with the construction of ZML “Kęty”, an important part of the history of the aluminium industry in Poland was being written.
The Head Office of Zakłady Metali Lekkich w Budowie (Light Metals Plant in Construction) based in Walcownia Metali “Dziedzice” (“Dziedzice” Metals Rolling Mill) in Czechowice was established in 1950. Since 1952, the head office has been already located in Kęty in a two-segment hut. Office rooms were located in one wing, and the other wing hosted a ‘hotel’ with living quarters for employees from outside Kęty. Some of them felt as if they were never leaving their workplace.
The date of launching the Foundry Department was scheduled on 21 July 1953, one day before the national holiday on 22 July. Initially, the production was carried out in makeshift conditions. The foundry hall was ready in 25 percent, machines were being assembled and bricklayers put on walls and made floor levellings. Everything was missing… apart from enthusiasm and optimism that “somehow, we will overcome all those problems”.
The Foil Rolling Mill Department was launched in 1956. Insufficient experience resulted in the crew’s initial problems with the production of aluminium foils of a proper quality and of simple laminates. However, with time, they mastered the most difficult rolling, printing and laminating technologies.
The launch of the Press Shop and Drawing Mill Department in 1958 was the last stage of the plant erection. The hall was erected according to the design by Engineer Jan Kopciowski. Not only was it the biggest facility in the plant (320 meters long and 60 meters wide), but also apparently the most beautiful one. It was admired by architects at that time.