Founded in 1860 by Martin Friedrich von Essen, the company started out building mud dikes and brushwood fences for rivers and tidal flats.

Around 1900, the span of business operations extended considerably. In addition to deepening the channels of the Jade, Weser and Ems rivers, the company started building riprap groins and training dikes on fascine mattress foundations.

In the mid-60s, armouring was optimised by the Colcrete mortar process - an improvement followed in the 70s by the development of Colcrete concrete mats and Colcrete injection concrete.

In the 1990s, extensive tests were conducted in cooperation with science institutes, e.g. for an effective protection of harbour beds exposed to high stress. Colcredur, a special soft sealant for use in waterway engineering projects was developed and not long after that followed the Colcrete – von Essen geotextile mat and riprap laying unit.

An increase of the range of hydraulic engineering services in canals, rivers, harbours, at the coasts and in the offshore area ran in parallel with the developments in special hydraulic engineering processes.

Today, with its team of highly qualified employees and high-performance modern equipment, Colcrete - von Essen covers the whole spectrum of specialist hydraulic engineering for coastal protection and waterway development.