Quality and sustainability at the service of the market
Hydrochem Italia is one of the few national chemical companies to consider sustainable from an environmental point of view, since it uses only renewable energy: the industrial plant of Pieve Vergonte is, in fact, powered by two hydroelectric plants, one of which has been recently reconstructed, and fully meet the energy needs of the site’s production processes.
With the same hydroelectric energy, completely renewable, the company also produces “green hydrogen”, which is then used in two chemical processes of the site, according to the principles of the circular economy, and to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, in the heating steam production cycles.
The company dedicates its production to food, feed and pharma industries, ensuring the best quality available from the market.
The utmost attention to the protection of the environment, safety and health of each individual are an integral part of the D.N.A. of society. The integration of sustainability in the commercial and production activity allows Hydrochem Italia to promote operational efficiency, provide better solutions for customers and support the community.
Hydrochem Italia is part of ESSECO GROUP, Italian family-owned group, which offers products and services for the inorganic chemistry and oenology industry; it is active in many industrial sectors, including agri-food, pharmaceuticals, detergency, the rubber, paper and many more industries. ESSECO GROUP, which has almost 100 years of history, is present directly in 15 countries around the world with over 1,000 employees.
Hydrochem Italia believes that people are a great value and an opportunity for every company. For this reason, it constantly invests in resources that guarantee a continuous improvement in the effectiveness of the organization, customer satisfaction, the operation of Management Systems and compliance with regulatory requirements. Hydrochem Italia promotes the creation of a working environment in which teamwork plays a central role and stimulates the personal development of all employees.
The chemical plant of Pieve Vergonte was founded in Milan on November 15, with a capital of 2,500,000 lire and the name of “Stabilimento di RUMIANCA Ing. A. Vitale”: Eng. Alfonso Vitale assumes the role of Managing Director and General Manager.
The purpose of the company is the installation of an electrolysis plant for the production of chlor-soda. The area in Val d’Ossola was chosen, where hydroelectric power plants of considerable power are already being built and chlorine-soda requires great availability of electricity. At the same time, other production cycles such as carbon sulfide, sulphuric acid and, subsequently, carbon tetrachloride and chlorine lime are initiated.
After the war, Eng. Vitale expanded and improved the existing plants. In order to improve the living and working conditions of the employees, he founded the Cooperative, the company canteen, and built and bought various dwellings. He improved the communication routes by building the road between Piedimulera and Pieve Vergonte and the connecting road between the municipalities of Rumianca and Vogogna.
Mr. Vitale left RUMIANCA, which became part of the SNIA VISCOSA group of the company Gualino. SNIA was already an established industry, which produced man-made textile fibres and for its processing needs carbon sulfide and caustic soda. The new CEO was Mr. Ostilio Severini. In the meantime, new plants for the production of Tetraline, chlorine benzol, concentrated soda and ammonia were being built.
Due to the economic sanctions imposed on Italy and the consequent state of autarky, RUMIANCA undertook a mining activity in Val Toppa, Valle Anzasca and Valle Antrona: with arsenous anhydride, obtained from arsenic pyrites in gold mines, the manufacture of formulated anticryptogamics and copper sulfate began; from iron pyrites, instead, sulfur dioxide was obtained for the production of sulfuric acid and oleum; a “gold” department was also equipped for the extraction of the precious metal through roasting and cyanization. Since 1930 the Chief Executive Officer has been Comm. Ferdinando Ravazzi, who brings Rumianca to the stock exchange.
To ensure wide availability of electricity, RUMIANCA started the construction of the hydroelectric power plant of Megolo with a production of about 8,000 Kwh, deriving water from the Toce, with the barrage of the Masone; a control unit in Piedimulera produced another 2,500 kwh
During the Second World War, the company signed a contract with the Military Chemical Center for the construction of aggressive chemicals, smoke and mist. A new chlor-soda plant was installed with 68 mercury cells, capable of producing 30 tonnes of caustic soda and 27 tonnes of chlorine daily.
The industrial area was expanded by 200,000 square meters and the plants for sodium metal, DCA, DFA, Fosgene, Formic Acid and a new Chlorobenzol are built.
The Village for the workers was built, with twenty buildings with 90 rooms, some villas for executives, after-work with hotel and movie theater, a modern infirmary, the gym, the shower building with changing rooms and the new office building. The company canteen was renovated and expanded to be able to serve 1,000 meals a day.
After the war, Rumianca established a modern and well-equipped Laboratory for Studies and Research for the development of new products for agriculture and basic chemistry; as a result, it started the production of complex granular fertilizers: Phosphoammonium and PKN.
The construction of the hydroelectric plant of Ceppo Morelli, which derives from the Anza in Macugnaga, was completed by a decantation basin in Val Quarazza; the forced pipeline had a drop of 550 m and the plant develops a power of 14,000 kwh.
For the production of fertilizers, a modern plant of Synthetic Ammonia is built, a plant for the production of the Nitrogen-hydrogen mixture from methane and a further large sulfuric acid plant, capable of treating granular iron pyrites and floats. The production of fertilizers reached 25,000 tons. The plants for the production of D.D.T., Sulphuric Hydrochloride, Chlorine and Orthodichlorobenzol, bleaching lands, selective herbicides, Rumianca powder, copper oxychloride, microsulfur and ammonium sulfate were realized.
Outside the factory, to compensate for the shortage of electricity in the winter months, a heavy naphtha thermoelectric plant with a capacity of 14,000 kwh was built.
Riccardo Gualino died. RUMIANCA was involved in a serious financial crisis.
The SIR group of Angelo “Nino” Rovelli, raked the majority of Rumianca shares, becoming the largest shareholder; the company became part of the new group known as SIR-RUMIANCA: the headquarters was moved to Milan.
RUMIANCA wa in danger of being permanently closed when SIR was overwhelmed by accumulated debts.
Thanks to the intervention of the Italian Government, which establishes the program for the reorganization of the SIR-RUMIANCA group, the Pieve Vergonte plant is transferred to ANIC, a company of the ENI Group which, In 1983, it gave the plants to ENICHIMICA SECONDARIA S.p.A. (which later became ENICHEM SINTESI S.p.A.); Rumianca S.p.A. has been placed in liquidation.
The chemical plant in Pieve Vergonte was sold to TESSENDERLO Italia S.r.l., a Franco-Belgian company. The new property made significant investments for improvements and renovations, with particular attention to hydroelectric power plants, without however succeeding in relaunching the plant, which has seen the gradual closure of most of its production lines.
The HydroChem plant in Pieve Vergonte (VB) was acquired by Esseco Group, an Italian family-owned group active in the inorganic chemistry and oenology industry. This acquisition contributed to the development of the Group’s production capacity in the chlor-alkali sector, which had its leading subsidiary Altair Chimica.