In the industrial history of our Country, Cogne Acciai Speciali has been one of the most significant examples of the whole steel industry
The idea of building an iron and steel plant strategically near to raw material was that of the Belgian entrepreneur Charles Van der Straten Pontoz who founded the company “Miniere di Cogne” at the beginning of 20th Century. However, the development of the electricity-powered iron and steel project in Aosta Valley was undertaken by Pio Perrone. Skilled Italian and Swedish technicians supported the project. He thus created, in those difficult years of the first world war, a unique electric steel plant fed by Cogne’s magnetite and by the electricity produced in the Aymavilles, Chavonne and Champagne power stations.
During the Seventies and Eighties, the Cogne steel plant lived through the restless years of the State-controlled iron and steel industry and shared its difficulties. Eventually, first Egam and then Finsider were liquidated and the plant became part of the Ilva Group.
In the years that followed, most of the industrialized countries were compelled drastically to reduce the production capacity in their cast iron and steel sectors. In fact, capacity remained surplus to consumption, due, in part, to the appearance on the market of new products and to supplies from the Far East.
The rationalization process caused ILVA, the largest Italian producer, progressively to reorganize, involving heavy restructuring and plant closures.
At the beginning of the Nineties, ILVA decided to concentrate on its core-business: the production of steel in flat products. As a result, the Cogne steel plant in Aosta, despite its highly acclaimed quality in long products, risked closure, as it was no longer of strategic value to ILVA.
At the end of 1993, however, the Cogne steel plant was purchased by private industrialists who planned its industrial restructuring. The company was relaunched and on 1st January 1994 began its life as Cogne Acciai Speciali.
In more recent years, an ambitious restructuring programme of investments in plant and commercial activities was successfully completed. This was followed by a plan of consolidation and a relaunch based on such factors as:
- product cost reduction, whilst maintaining the highest quality levels;
- improved commercial efficiency and customer service;
- development of process technologies;
- integration and implementation of highly specialized products;
- emphasis on a more market oriented approach and philosophy.
Today Cogne Acciai Speciali is one of the leading producers of stainless steel long products in Europe and, indeed, in the world.