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aluminum smelter / Mori / 1927 - 1983 / 2007, 2009


Until the 1920s no aluminium was produced in Italy. This changed in 1927, when a large smelter was erected in Mori (Trento) by SIDA-Società Italiana dell'Alluminio - a joint-venture between the Italian Montecatini and the German Vereinigte Aluminium Werke. The abundance of water led to the construction of a 100 millions kWh- hydroelectric power station, designed by Vincenzo Ferniani and equipped with Francis-Scharmilles and Kaplan-Storek turbines. To obtain aluminum the smelter used the common Hall-Héroult process, in which alumina is dissolved in molte cryolite and then submitted to electrolysis. The first electrolysis hall (A, 1927) hosted 180 cells of 12500-25000 Ampere. A second one (B, 120 cells of 12500 Ampere) was added in 1930 and a third one (C, 132 cells of 12500 Ampere) in 1937. In mid 1930s Montecatini management acquired the foreign shares of SIDA and transferred the aluminum smelter to the newborn company INA-Industria Nazionale Alluminio, created with the endorsement of the fascist government. The Mori factory played a strategic role during the Second World War, being operative during the most part of the conflict with a peak of 1200 employees.



The postwar shift from militar to civil production was accompanied by a general modernization of the working process, which caused a severe job loss. In early 1960s the older electrolysis halls A and B were demolished and replaced by new ones: the first equipped with 60 Söderberg cells of 110000 Ampere while the second with 16 similar cells. After that, the total capacity of the Mori increased up to 23000 t per year. However, in 1962 the Italian energy sector was nationalized and ENEL utility company was created. This meant that private companies, such as Montecatini, had to buy electricity from their (formerly) owned power stations. Many energy intensive-industries, such as aluminum smelting, were nationalized too. In 1973 the Mori smelter was taken over by the state-company EFIM - already controlling the whole aluminum sector - and assigned to the subsidiary Alumetal. During the following ten years the smelter activity slowly decreased, until the definitive closure in November 1983.















Leoni, D., Irace, F. (2000), La Montecatini di Mori : acqua, aria, energia elettrica, Nicolodi, Rovereto.

Montecatini - Società Generale per l'Industria Mineraria e Chimica (1935), La Società Montecatini ed il suo Gruppo Industriale - nel venticinquesimo anno di amministrazione [di] Guido Donegani, Istituto Bertieri, Milano.



Short illustrative documentary, 1928.