One of the most outstanding examples of the carbochemical industry in Asturias is the factory in Langreo of the former PROQUISA (Productos Químicos Sintéticos S. A.). Established in 1944 to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients, the company promoted the establishment of a chemical product plant in Lada.
Thus, it took advantage of the location advantages offered by the proximity to the factory of Sociedad Metalúrgica Duro Felguera, which was responsible for the supply of the coking derivative products necessary for the preparation of medicines.
The main equipment of the factory was planned and built during the last years of the 1940s and the beginning of the following decade. In addition to the facilities dedicated to the production of benzol, salicylic acid, synthetic phenol, synthetic acetic acid, acetylsalicylic acid, sodium acetate, acetic acid and esters, there are also buildings designed to serve as storage spaces, workshops, warehouses, cooling towers, pump rooms, electrical transformation stations, toilets, garages, laboratories, offices and housing for employees. The various parts of the complex are integrated into an irregularly shaped enclosure.
Regarding its architecture, it is interesting to highlight the rationalist-styled building that was used for auxiliary services, offices, laboratory and warehouse. The two twin buildings that function as the main façade of the plant, and which served as housing for employees and single workers are also highly interesting. The same happens with the warehouse dedicated to the manufacture of acetylsalicylic acid, characterized by its huge dimensions and a pronounced slope in its gable roof.
The German multinational Bayer, which had already begun to take part in the company in the 1960s, took over the ownership of the plant in 1981. It currently gathers 100% of the company worldwide production of acetylsalicylic acid, the active ingredient in the popular aspirin.
Natalia Tielve García