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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02ROME3755
2002-07-31 14:19:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

OLD AND NEW STYLE CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS IN SICILY

Tags:  TPHY ETRD SENV IT 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ROME 003755 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/ERA
USDOC FOR ITA/MAC DE FALCO
DEPT PASS TO "ALL EUROPEAN UNION POST COLLECTIVE"

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TPHY ETRD SENV ETRD SENV IT ITTPHY
SUBJECT: OLD AND NEW STYLE CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS IN SICILY

REF: ROME 3390



1. SUMMARY. ON 24 AUGUST A/ECMIN VISITED THE PRIOLO
INDUSTRIAL AREA IN SOUTHERN SICILY TO MEET WITH DOW ITALIA
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 ROME 03755 01 OF 02 011426Z
AND POLIMERI EUROPA, TOUR THEIR FACILITIES, AND ACQUIRE
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE COMPANIES TO PAVE THE WAY FOR
FUTURE DISCUSSIONS ON EU CHEMICALS POLICY. DOW IS THE
LARGEST CHEMICAL COMPANY OPERATING IN ITALY, AND POLIMERI
EUROPA IS THE LARGEST PRODUCER OF POLYETHYLENES IN EUROPE.
THE VERY DIFFERENT OPERATIONAL STRUCTURES AND STYLE OF THE
COMPANIES SUGGESTS THAT WE MAY FIND DIFFERENT KNOWLEDGE
ABOUT THE EU PROPOSALS; PE PLANTS FUNCTION AS PRODUCTION
UNITS WITH LITTLE KNOWLEDGE OF POLICY OR MANAGEMENT ISSUES,
WHEREAS DOW HAS INTEGRATED ITS PRODUCTION/RESEARCH
FACILITIES AND PERSONNEL INTO OVERALL CORPORATE MANAGEMENT.
END SUMMARY.


2. THE INDUSTRIAL SECTION OF PRIOLO WAS BUILT AS A SINGLE,
MULTIFUNCTIONAL COMPLEX IN THE 1950S BY THE GOI, THEN
PRIVATIZED IN THE EARLY 1960S. THE PRIOLO SITE, WHICH
OCCUPIES 900 HECTARES NORTH OF SYRACUSE, CONTAINS PLANTS
OWNED BY AGIP, ENICHEM, DOW, POLIMERI EUROPA, ERG, AND ESSO.
SOME OF THESE COMPANIES FUNCTION INTERDEPENDENTLY AT THE
PRIOLO SITE, TRANSPORTING PRODUCTS AND/OR INTERMEDIATES TO
OTHER COMPANIES IN THE VICINITY. THE PRIOLO PLANTS SHARE AN
EXTENSIVE SECURITY SYSTEM AND THE SAME SHIPYARD FOR
TRANSPORTATION OF MATERIALS. IN ADDITION, THEY ALL BELONG TO
CIPA, THE INDUSTRIAL CONSORTIUM FOR ENVIRONMENTAL
PROTECTION, AND SHARE A COMMON BIOLOGICAL PLANT FOR
TREATMENT OF WASTEWATER (IAS), WHICH IS THE LARGEST OF ITS
KIND IN EUROPE AND THE FIFTH LARGEST IN THE WORLD. IAS'S
CURRENT GOAL IS TO RECYCLE THREE MILLION CUBIC METERS OF
WASTEWATER FROM INDUSTRY; ITS FUTURE GOAL WILL BE TEN
MILLION CUBIC METERS.



3. A/ECMIN FIRST MET WITH POLIMERI EUROPA (PE) PERSONNEL
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 ROME 03755 01 OF 02 011426Z
FROM PRIOLO. PE, BASED IN MILAN, PRODUCES TWENTY DIFFERENT
LOW-DENSITY LINEAR POLYETHYLENE (LDLPE) PRODUCTS, AS WELL AS
PROPYLENE, CUMENE, AND AROMATICS SUCH AS BENZENE, ORTHO- AND
PARA- XYLENE, AND TOLUENE. PE HAS TWO OTHER SICILIAN PLANTS
AT GELA AND RAGUSA; BOTH PRODUCE LDLPES, AND GELA ALSO
PRODUCES SMALL AMOUNTS OF ETHYLENE AND PROPYLENE. THE PRIOLO
FACILITY IS THE LARGEST OF THE THREE IN TERMS OF BOTH SIZE
AND OUTPUT, OCCUPYING THREE MILLION SQUARE METERS OF LAND
AND PRODUCING 745 KILOTONS OF ETHYLENE, 440 KTN OF
PROPYLENE, 440 KTN OF BENZENE, AND 200 KTN OF LDLPE PER
YEAR. IT HAS 565 EMPLOYEES AND A STORAGE CAPACITY OF 98,000
CUBIC METERS. THE AROMATICS PLANT WAS INSTALLED FROM 1964-
1971, AND THE CRACKING PLANT IN 1981. THE EQUIPMENT IN THE
ETHYLENE PLANT, WHERE PE IS GRADUALLY EMPLOYING MORE
ADVANCED COMPUTERIZED CONTROLS AND MONITORING SYSTEMS, WAS
INSTALLED IN 1987. THERE IS NO PE RESEARCH UNIT AT THE
PRIOLO SITE; RESEARCH INTO AROMATICS AND CRACKING TAKES
PLACE AT A MILAN FUNCTIONARY.



4. PE RECEIVES MONOMERIC ETHYLENE AND PROPYLENE FROM ENICHEM
PRIOLO, WHICH CAN THEN BE SUBJECTED TO VINYL POLIMERIZATION/
ZIEGLER-NATTA CATALYSIS, CREATING A STRONG LINEAR
POLYETHYLENE. PE ALSO RECEIVES AROMATIC C-6 FRACTIONS FROM
ERG, HYDROGEN FUEL GAS FROM ESSO PRIOLO, AND TRANSPORTS
MONOMERIC ETHYLENE AND AMMONIA VIA PIPELINE TO THE PLANTS AT
GELA AND RAGUSA.



5. A/ECMIN JOINED NAPLES CONGEN CLYDE BISHOP AT THE DOW
ITALIA POLYURETHANES SITE TO MEET WITH DOW PERSONNEL FROM
PRIOLO AND MANAGEMENT FROM DOW'S MILAN HEADQUARTERS. THIS
PARTICULAR PLANT WAS ACQUIRED FROM ENICHEM'S POLYURETHANES
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 ROME 03755 01 OF 02 011426Z
DIVISION IN 2001, WHICH HAD ACQUIRED IT FROM UNION CARBIDE
IN 1990. AT THIS TIME, DOW ALSO ACQUIRED OTHER ENICHEM
POLYURETHANES PLANTS, ALL EQUIPPED WITH RESEARCH FACILITIES,
IN BRINDISI, PORTO MARGHERA (NEAR VENICE), AND TERTRO,
BELGIUM. WITH THESE ACQUISITIONS, DOW IS NOW THE LARGEST
CHEMICAL COMPANY OPERATING IN ITALY. THE PRIOLO SITE'S
PRINCIPAL MARKETS LIE IN NORTH AFRICA, TURKEY, AND ITALY.
THE PLANT, WHICH HAS 97 EMPLOYEES, PRODUCES ETHYL OXIDES
(ETHERS), GLYCOLS, POLYGLYCOLS, AND POLYOLS. THESE PRODUCTS
ARE USED FOR COOLING FLUIDS, PHARMACEUTICALS, OIL FIELDS,
COATINGS, AGRICULTURE, SHOE SOLES, AND AS RAW MATERIALS FOR
POLYURETHANE SYNTHESIS. WHEN MEETING WITH MANAGEMENT FROM
DOW MILAN, A/ECMIN SUGGESTED DISCUSSION OF SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT IN ADDITION TO PREVIOUS PLANS FOR A SEPTEMBER
MEETING ON EU CHEMICALS POLICY. DOW MILAN SEEMED EAGER AND
PREPARED TO DISCUSS AT A LATER DATE.



6. COMMENT: A/ECMIN PLANS TO USE THESE SITE VISITS AS
STARTING POINTS FOR DISCUSSION OF THE EU CHEMICALS WHITE
PAPER AND DERIVATIVE TEXTS. THE VERY DIFFERENT OPERATIONAL
STRUCTURES AND STYLE OF THE COMPANIES SUGGESTS THAT WE MAY

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ9359

PAGE 01 ROME 03755 02 OF 02 011426Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 EB-00 UTED-00 TEDE-00 OES-01 TEST-00 SAS-00
/001W


--------------------------

D3455E 011426Z /03
R 311419Z JUL 02
FM AMEMBASSY ROME
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5173
USDOC WASHDC
INFO AMCONSUL MILAN
AMCONSUL FLORENCE
AMCONSUL NAPLES

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 ROME 003755

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/ERA
USDOC FOR ITA/MAC DE FALCO
DEPT PASS TO "ALL EUROPEAN UNION POST COLLECTIVE"

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TPHY ETRD SENV ETRD SENV IT ITTPHY
SUBJECT: OLD AND NEW STYLE CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS IN SICILY

FIND DIFFERENT KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE EU PROPOSALS. POLIMERI
EUROPA PRIOLO IS A PRODUCTION UNIT THAT RECEIVES
INSTRUCTIONS FROM ITS MILAN HEADQUARTERS. THEIR HQ DOES NOT
CONSULT REGULARLY WITH PRODUCTION LEADERS,
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 ROME 03755 02 OF 02 011426Z
AND THE PLANT
RECEIVES NEW TECHNOLOGIES AS DECIDED BY MILAN (AS NOTED,
THEY HAVE NO ON-SITE RESEARCH FACILITY). ACCORDINGLY, WE
WILL DIRECT OUR EFFORTS TO THE MILAN HEADQUARTERS OF THE
COMPANY. IN CONTRAST, DOW MANAGEMENT INTERACTS WITH ITS
PRIOLO PLANT PERSONNEL, WHO ARE WELL VERSED ON POLICY ISSUES
AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COMPANY. ON SITE, DOW WAS A
CORPORATE CULTURE TEAM THAT WAS INTEGRATING THE DOW GLOBAL
MANAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY WITH THE STYLE INHERITED FROM ENICHEM.
DOW MANAGEMENT IS CLEARLY ATTENTIVE TO CHANGES IN THE POLICY
ARENA WHICH MAY AFFECT THEIR BUSINESS OPERATIONS IN EUROPE
AND ELSEWHERE.



7. THIS MESSAGE WAS PREPARED BY SCIENCE SECTION INTERN ANNE
MARIEL PETERS.

SEMBLER

UNCLASSIFIED

>
2002ROME03755 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED