A company that extracted potash from the Dead Sea, the Palestine Potash Company was founded in 1929. In 1930, a plant was established at Kalia, at the northern end of the Dead Sea. Another larger plant was established at Sodom (1934), on the southern shore of the Dead Sea. The product of the Sodom plant was transported by boats to the northern plant, and from there it was sent by truck to Jerusalem and to the Haifa port for export.
During the War of Independence, the potash plant at the north of the Dead Sea was destroyed and the southern plant was shut down.
In 1952, a new company, the Dead Sea Works, with the concession to produce potash, was established by the government. In 1953, a road was built from Be'er Sheva to Sodom, and after it was opened to traffic a new plant was built at Sodom, where work resumed in 1955.
Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry