History of the nowadays joint-stock company is dated back to 1892 when company "Gessner & Pohl", which mined at those times claystones in Březina area, decided to establish a plant in Velké Opatovice. The plant was assigned for production of refractory products (bricks and mortars) and was to take an advantage of the nearby railway connecting from 1889 on Velké Opatovice and Chornice. The plant served for the evaluation of the (up to this date) waste raw materials (finer fractions). The founders did not know then that they had put down foundations to the later development of Velké Opatovice. There were not that many employment opportunities at those times and thus local people welcomed the new plant offering a possibility of stable salary.
The plant itself was not that large, it has only 3 departments: kilns, mixers and screw extrusion press. The machinery was modest and run by steam engine. The firing was performed with gas from generators Siemens, in kilns of Mendheim type which had 8 chambers. Another 6 chambers were added in 1897. The fireclay bricks were produced in 6 quality brands. The annual output ranged from 4 000 to 9 500 tons.
The company is known as Moravské šamotové a lupkové závody Velké Opatovice (MŠLZ) from 1950 with the plants in Velké Opatovice, Mladějov, Nová Ves, Koclířov - Hřebeč, Janůvky, Březina and Roubanina. The superior authority was state owned company Czechoslovak ceramic plants Praha. Vidnava plant producing fireclay and silica products was a part of that state owned company from 1955 to 1986 and Jeví?ko plant producing mainly insulating bricks belonged to the same company from 1955 to 1992.
Velké Opatovice plant was enlarged in the years 1960 – 1965 when a so called “New plant” – nowadays Division 02 – was constructed. The original plant was renamed to “Old plant” – nowadays Division 01. This enlargement made Velké Opatovice plant – with the annual capacity of 120.000 tons - the biggest company producing fireclay products in the eastern Europe. These two (Old and New) plants have their successor with much shorter history in silica plant in Svitavy. This silica plant was built in the years 1981 - 1985 and its products should cover a need of silica products mainly in coking plants. However, a lengthy trial operation caused that the plant started a standard operation only at the moment of the breakage of our traditional markets when silica was almost unsaleable. The plant introduced an alternative plan and only in 1997 when several orders for deliveries to USA were gained; we were able to verify our ability to produce high quality silica in the intended volume. Ceramic chimney pipes are produced in limited volume in silica plant Svitavy as well.
Company MŠLZ became a joint-stock company in 1991. Organization chart was substantially changed on 1. 1. 2000 when the plant was newly divided to production divisions and non-production departments. MŠLZ became a member of the international Preiss-Daimler Group and was renamed to P-D Refractories CZ a.s. in 2000.