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fertilizers factory / Piacenza / 1907 - 1988 / 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011


The Consorzio Agrario of Piacenza was founded in 1900 as one of first regional farmers cooperative in Italy. Between 1907 and 1908 a new factory for the manufacturing of phosphatic fertilizers (12000 t/y) was established nearby the Consorzio's main storage center at Molino degli Orti, already served by the Milan-Bologna railway line. Between 1921 and 1922 the factory was enlarged and provided with a most modern Mills-Packard sulfuric acid plant. The latter, equipped with 8 chambers (tall tapered cylinders externally cooled by water), allowed an increase of 200% of the overall fertilizers production. During the Fascist period the Consorzio Agrario benefited from an agricultural policy oriented towards national self-sufficiency, thus increasing its production.



In late 40s, with the “privatization” of farmers cooperatives, it was decided to upgrade the Piacenza factory for the manufacturing of granulated fertilizers. The transformation occurred between 1951 and 1954 and consisted in the replacement of the old facilities with a modern Kuhlmann superphosphate plant. Phosphate rock, stored in 10 vertical silos, was mixed with sulfuric acid into a tall mixer, and then granulated in two rotating dryers. The granulated superphosphate was then sent via conveyor belt to an impressive reinforced-concrete parabolic silo, charged from the ceiling. Activities cased in 1988, three years before the financial crack of Federconsorzi (the national federation of farmers cooperative). The whole area will be radically transformed in the near future by a large urban redevelopment project.




















Cattanei, G. (2014), Un grande attore dello sviluppo agricolo piacentino: il primo Consorzio Agrario di Piacenza (1900-1948), Il Mulino, Bologna.

Trincheri, G. (2001), Industrie chimiche in Italia dalle origini al 2000, Arvan, Mira.