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sugar mill / Sermide / 1912 - 1982 / 2008


This sugar mill was established in 1919 by Alberto Schiaffino, a Genoese engineer. The factory, located in a small village along the Po river, was supplied via water and aerial ropeway, while a railway connection ensured the distribution of final products. In the 1920s the plant reached a beet processing capacity of 1700 t/d, employing 800 people both permanent and seasonal. Heavily damaged during the Second World War, the factory was soon rebuilt and transformed into an integrated white sugar refinery, with a capacity of 3800 t/d. An ethanol distillery and a yeast plant were added too. After a short crisis in mid 1960s, the company expanded through the takeover of some other independent companies running sugar mills and alcohol distilleries. The end of the 1970s was characterized by a discrete restructuring. The yeast plant (12000 t/y) was totally computerized, while the sugar refinery capacity was increased up to 5500 t/d. Despite these good results, the company was directly interested by the ongoing sugar industry deep crisis. A few negative seasons, then, led to the closure of the site in 1982. One year later the company was liquidated.