archive / reportage / info




steelworks / Crema / 1913 - 1994 / 2008


The steelworks of Crema was founded in 1913 by Paolo Stramezzi, who inherited a small pre-existing (1883) horseshoes factory. Taking advantages of war deliveries the plant was further improved and expanded: "We don't speculate on war hurts, we don't cry, we hold the situation. We are testing new processes in which the use of fuel is less than possible; the plant is becoming larger and a new rolling mill is under construction", said Mr. Stramezzi. In fact, the manufacturing of rolled sections increased from pre-war levels of 10 t/d up to 30. Between 1922 and 1934 two rolling mills (260 + 360) were added along with a nuts and bolts shop, while a technical school was created for preparing the future workforce. In 1938 the company name was modified into Acciaieria e Ferriera di Crema P. Stramezzi, introducing the fact that, through the installation of a 6-t electric furnace (EAF), the old ironworks became to all intents and purposes a steelworks. At the threshold of the Second World War the plant employed 1126 people and consisted of: steelmill (3 EAFs, 6924 t/y), hot rolling (4 lines, 15610 t/y), cold rolling (1 line, 287 t/y), drawing mill (874 t/y), nuts and bolts shop (1757 t/y) and a horseshoes section (870 t/y). Being severely damaged by air raids during 1944, the factory was quickly rebuilt and modernized. Already in 1949 a SM plant was operating, using methane as fuel. Meanwhile, the "jewel" of Stramezzi steelworks, i.e. the nuts and bolts shop, was improved, becoming one of the most advanced in Europe and thus being appreciated by American, Swiss and German engineers. After two decades of prosperous growth the steelworks began to feel the effects of the 1970s steel crisis. In addition, the bad financial state of the owner's family was seriously compromising the future of the site. That's why in 1986 the steelworks was sold to a consortium of Italian entrepreneurs, while the company name was deprived of "Stramezzi" resulting then Acciaieria e Ferriera di Crema. After some important investments the production of late 1980s was organized into one 70-t EAF, a continuous casting (130000 t/y) and two rolling mills (250 + 550), 125000 t/y). However, while restructuring the plant the new company run into debts with several banks and, after the nth rejection of recapitalization, it was forced to stop the steelmaking activity. Rolling mills followed in 1994-95, signing then the definitive closure.









Pedrocco, G. (1993), La Ferriera di Crema. Dai ferri di cavallo agli acciai di qualità, Grafo, Brescia.