chemical plant / Fidenza / 1888 - 2004 / 2011
This tar distillery was established in 1888 by Ditta Rocca e Baratti, with the purpose to manufacture anthracene oil and pitch – used in wood impregnation and as binder in coal briquettes, respectively. At the turn of the century the plant begun to manufacture carbon black. Several other products were added during the interwar period, such as naphthalene (1915), phenol (1922) and benzoyl (1930). In 1929 the distillery was taken over by a newborn company called CLEDCA-Società Anonima Conservazione del Legno e Distillazione di Catrame, founded in the same year by ITALGAS. Heavily damaged by air raids in 1944-45, the plant was soon rebuilt and expanded. Between the 1950s and 1960s the factory employed almost 200 people and manufactured about 60 different products, amongst which historical ones such as carbon black and benzoyl as well as new ones such as phenol-based herbicides/disinfectants and resins. After being transferred in 1969 to the Coke and Carbon Chemistry Division of ITALGAS, CLEDCA was sold in 1972 to Carbochimica Italiana, a joint-venture created by ITALGAS and Prada Chimica. Due to changed market conditions (petrochemistry had meanwhile replaced carbon chemistry) and environmental problems, the new company operated a deep restructuring of the plant. Traditional activities were progressively dismantled – carbon black in 1973, benzoyl in 1976, tar distillation in 1982 –, leaving just the production of naphthalene and minor products. Almost inactive since the late 1990s, the plant was closed in 2004 after the company's bankruptcy.
Carbochimica Italiana Spa (1988), 1888/1988 I cento anni della Carbochimica Italiana Spa, Castelsangiovanni.
Article from La Chimica e l'Industria (the Journal of Chemical Industry) 2011, about the history of carbon chemistry and the Fidenza factory.
Carbochimica detailed factsheet on Industria e Ambiente