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Ferrara (Italy)


The city of Ferrara and its agricultural hinterland boast a long tradition in the sugar industry. In the 1930s, the exceeding ethanol produced by the many local sugar refineries began to be considered a valuable source for autarchic chemicals, among which acetic solvents and synthetic rubber. In this context, the company Distillerie Italiane promoted the establishment of a large ethanol distillery in the new industrial zone of Ferrara, to be run by its subsidiary Fabbrica Italiana Derivati Acetilene. The construction started in 1940 but was interrupted in 1943 due to war events. Once the conflict was over, the project was resumed and the plant, converted to civil purposes, went operational in 1953. Taken over by Eridania sugar manufacturing company in 1967, the Ferrara's ethanol distillery was at that time the largest of its kind in Italy, accounting for 37% of the country's entire production. Things changed in the early 2000s, as the Italian sugar industry was affected by the new agricultural market regulations of the European Community (EC 320/2006). Many sugar mills were closed, and so it was in 2007 for the Eridania's ethanol plant. After a successful participatory planning process initiated in 2016, the site's transformation and regeneration was launched in 2019. The most significative buildings will be kept and adaptively reused for public and cultural services.

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