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Terni IC

Papigno (Italy)


In the scenic Valnerina, a few hundred meters from the highest man-made waterfall in the world, the Marmore one, lays the old electrochemical works of Papigno. Founded in 1901 by Società Italiana per il Carburo di Calcio, the factory exploited the hydropower generated from the Nera and Velino rivers, as well as the local limestone deposits, to produce calcium carbide, cyanamide and derivates. Taken over by Terni Società per l'Industria e l’Elettricità in 1922, the Papigno’s works were thus integrated in the company’s growing industrial network, encompassing energy, mining, steelmaking and chemical productions. The factory was radically restructured and significantly enlarged in 1929-35, becoming a leading carbide manufacturer in Italy. This condition lasted until the 1960s, when carbide-based chemical industry was rapidly replaced by petrochemistry. After a peak of production in 1963 (122k tons/year), the Papigno’s works were transferred to the state-owned Terni Industrie Chimiche in 1964 and later to ENI. After a last, failed attempt to revive cyanamide production, the plant was closed down for good in 1973. Long abandoned, the public-owned industrial complex was then taken over by the municipality of Terni in 1997. Some of the large halls were temporarily converted into filming studios, hosting, among others, the Oscar-winning “Life is Beautiful” by Roberto Benigni. 

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