The need to enforce European Union and Italian legislation fully, the release of previously blocked government investment funds, and the economic recovery should give impetus to asbestos removal and treatment in Italy in the next few years.
Total market demand, at some $30 million in 1995, is expected to grow to $33 million in 1996. The real annual growth rate should be approximately 5 percent over the next three years.Thousands of tons of asbestos currently remain in industrial sites, office and residential buildings, trains and ships, as well as boilers, pipes, and vehicle-braking materials. The environmental risk and danger to the labor force continue to be high.
The deterioration of the cement/asbestos roofing shingles and boards used extensively in the 1960s and 1970s is creating a high concentration of asbestos fibers in the atmosphere of Northern Italy. Addressing the consequences of this deterioration seems to be the most serious asbestos-related problem in Italy at present.
Acid rain and changes in temperature are causing critical surface deterioration of the shingles, transforming cement into gypsum, which, when washed out by water, releases asbestos fibers into the atmosphere. The average quantity of fibers released is estimated to be approximately 3 grams per square meter per year. Although there has been no official data gathered yet on the number of cement/asbestos roof shingles and boards in Italy, estimates are that they could total 2 billion square meters (approximately 21,500 billionsq. feet).
Various public and private projects have already started or free-fiber asbestos utilized as indoor fireproofing and insulating material. The project for containment of the serpentinite Balangero mines (which were closed down in 1990) will have a considerable impact on the development of market demand and could represent an excellent business opportunity. An independent company was created in October 1995 to coordinate the remediation program in the area.
After the United States, which has 65 percent of the import market, Britain is the leading supplier to Italy in this sector, with 15 percent market share. It is followed by France (10 percent), Germany (5 percent), and Sweden (2 percent).
Companies active in the market for fixation/encapsulation products include the United Kingdom's Liquid Plastic (direct competitor of U.S. based Foster, represented by Vedani), France's La Farge, which imports through the Spanish firm Texsa and the Swedish-Dutch company Akzo-Nobel. France's SERPIB, controlled by Gronau (Germany), no longer appears to be in Italy. France's ELF Atochem and Germany's BASF are among the major suppliers of raw materials for the formulation of fixation and encapsulation products.
The French company SO.RA.RO, controlled by Lyonnaise des Eaux, is active in the service market.
U.S.-based Foster is the leading U.S. company offering products for the fixation and encapsulation of sprayed or free-fiber asbestos utilized as indoor-fireproofing and insulating material. Foster has a licensing agreement with France's CFPI, which produces in France and exports to Italy. Rohm and Haas supplies raw materials for the formulation of encapsulating products.
Hoover has an Italian subsidiary and produces widely used specialized aspirating machines. Nilfisk is also present in the market through Calorlux. Regency has a cooperation agreement with the Italian firm Saver for the thermal treatment of asbestos. Ecoservizi, totally controlled by Waste Management, is involved in asbestos-disposal services.
Testwell is active in Italy with its testing services, and the engineering company Golder has a subsidiary called Golder Geoanalysis. 3M is a leading supplier of protective wear, and has its own Italian subsidiary. Dupont is a major supplier of textile materials for protective suits.
There are approximately 50 Italian producers of asbestos fixation/impregnation and encapsulation products for outdoor applications on cement/asbestos shingles. They account for approximately 90 percent of the domestic market. The most important companies include Casali, Colorificio Adriatico, Europlast, Icobit, Index, Imper Italia, IVAS, Nord Resine, Plastocoat, and Sinitalia. Some exports take place, mostly to the rest of Europe.
Technology and innovation are the most critical competitivefactors in Italy. Comprehensive, problem-solving know-how is a second-important factor. However, it must be supported by an ability to understand fully prospective customer requirements, and the flexibility to customize equipment accordingly.
A reputation for excellence in given areas or market niches may represent a strategic advantage when participating in project bids of particular importance and technical difficulty. After-sales assistance and readiness to deliver spare parts promptly are critical factors, as are pricing and financial terms.
There are no trade barriers or limitations on imports of U.S. goods and services. While imports from EU member countries are exempt, goods from other countries, including the United States, are subject to import duties usually ranging from 3 percent to 10 percent.
All products, both imported and produced in the EU, are subject to the Value Added Tax of 19 percent. The VAT is applied to the total of cost-insurance-freight value plus the import duty. Technical specifications are essentially those set by the EU, which have been incorporated into the Italian regulations.
The national government has allocated $18 million for the containment of the serpentinite Balangero mines. Excellent opportunities could result for experienced U.S. engineering companies offering innovative, safe and cost-effective solutions.
The Piedmont Region has allocated $37 million for asbestos remediation programs. The city of Casale Monferrato, which has the highest national concentration of asbestos fibers in the atmosphere and the highest death rate for pleura mesothelioma, should receive $12.5 million.
The city of Rome is investing $3 million in 1996 for a program to remove asbestos in schools and other buildings owned by the city government. Another remediation program, worth $1 million, has been taking place over the past two years in 17 other buildings.
At least 4,000 train cars operated by the government-owned railroad company,
FS-Ferrovie Statali must be treated. Remediation of a first batch of 500 train cars has already been approved.
The electric utility ENEL is developing a complete remediation program. It is considering building a thermal-treatment plant for the disposal of the asbestos removed from its nationwide facilities. Cooperation with France's Societe' d'Electricite' is also being discussed.
U.S. technology and standards are very well-regarded and recognized. As there will be increasing demand for more advanced and sophisticated equipment and technologies, the Italian market should offer good opportunities for U.S. companies providing highly innovative products and technologies. The best sales prospects in this sector are:
* Innovative technologies and weather-resistant, high-quality and long-lasting products for outdoor fixation/impregnation of asbestos fibers.
* Innovative technologies and weather-resistant, high-quality and long-lasting products for outdoor encapsulation of asbestos.
* Equipment, products, and technologies for cleaning deteriorated outdoor surfaces without dispersion of asbestos fibers.
* Innovative decontamination chambers.
* Engineering solutions for containment of asbestos mines.
* Equipment and technologies for asbestos vitrification.
* Equipment and technologies for asbestos thermal treatment.
* Alternative technologies for asbestos treatment/disposal.
* Highly reliable, innovative, cost-effective sampling systems.
No opportunities seem to exist for specific safety products, such as protective suits and masks, given current,considerable, Italian and foreign competition.
It is recommended that U.S. new-to-market firms offering innovative products and technologies identify and cooperate with well-established Italian distributors. They may also consider cooperative arrangements or joint venture/licensing agreements with Italian producers. Distributors could also be Italian manufacturers wishing toc omplement their product line.
It is critical that U.S. engineering and remediation services companies seeking to do business in Italy not only understand the complicated regulatory and legal framework in Italy, but also team up with local firms familiar with preparation and submission of applications to operate.
Financing practices in this sector adhere to normal business/banking standards, with the majority of the transactions handled through private agreements and with banking institutions. Local Italian regional and city governments often resort to private financing from banking groups for special projects. No government incentives exist for foreign exporters to do business in Italy.
Via Cooperazione 3
Contact: Adolfo Balma, Managing Director
Via Gobetti 7
20090 Trezzano sul
Contact: Maurizio Mazzotta
C.F.P.I. Italia Srl
Via Egadi 10
Contact: B. Bombelli, General Manager
Via Gobetti 67
20090 Fizzonasco di Pieve
Contact: Giovanni Nava, Managing Director
Via Fonte d'Abisson 14
Vedani Italsae - Hi-Tech Materials
Via Selene 2
Contact: Mr. Vedani, General Manager
ASBESTOS REMEDIATION SERVICES COMPANIES
Via Petrarca 19/11
24052 Azzano S. Paolo BG
Contact: Paolo Andreini, General Manager
Via Patta 30
24020 Ranica BG
Contact: Mr. Mandelli, Technical Manager
Coibesa Thermosound Spa
Via Terralba 17
Loc. Pomara di Arcola
19021 La Spezia
Contact: Milano, Technical Manager
Via delle Stelline 120146
Contact: Laura Stella, Managing Director
Via Alessandrini 17/19
Contact: Giorgio Serio, Managing Director
Via Ca' Marcello 8
30172 Mestre VE
Contact: Alberto Girotto
Loc. Cassinazza di Baselica
27010 Giussago PV
Contact: Giorgio Dal Frate, Technical Manager
Via dei Santi 58
25129 Bettole Brescia BS
Contact: Mr. Mantovi
Via Enrico Fermi
1220090 Assago MI
Contact: Alvaro Tosi, General Manager
Via Mameli 4
15033 Casale Monferrato AL
Contact: Gianfranco Cugnolo, General Manager
Corso Galileo Ferraris 71
Contact: Pietro Jarre, President
Via Cartesio 3047100 Forli' RA
Contact: Miller Ussani, General Manager
Via S. Anna alle Paludi 115
Contact: Rodolfo Cimmino, General Manager
Via Rosso di San Secondo 1/3
Contact: Mario Iavarone, General Manager
Via Staffora 22/5
20090 Opera MI
Contact: Mr. Poggi
Tecnologie Industriali & Ambientali
Viale Spagna 100
20093 Cologno Monzese MI
Contact: Mr. Brambilla, Managing Director
Comune di Casale
Monferrato (Casale Monferrato City Hall)
Via Mameli 10
15033 Casale Monferrato AL
Comune di Roma (Rome City Hall)
V Ripartizione - II Direzione Edilizia
Via della Misericordia 1
Contact: Domenico Di Paolo, Manager
Enel Spa (electric utility)
Via G.B. Martini 3
Contact: F. Romano, Manager
Ferrovie dello Stato (Italian railroads)
Amministrazione Contratti di Servizio
Area Trasporto - Divisione Manutenzione Rotabili
Viale Spartaco Lavagnini 58
Contact: Mr. Paolini, Manager
RSA - Societa' per il Risanamento Ambientale
(Coordinating company for the Balangero mines project)
Viale Copperi 15
10070 Balangero TO
Contact: Fabrizio Zandonati, Managing Director
TRADE PROMOTION OPPORTUNITIES
Tau-Expo (for water, air, solid waste, and noise pollution control equipment and services)
Organizer: Promexpo (organizers)
Via Soderini 35/A
U.S. Contact: American Consulate General, US&FCS, Via Principe Amedeo 2, 20121 Milano.
Sep Pollution (for solid waste management and recycling, wastewater treatment, sludge treatment)
Via N. Tommaseo 59
American Embassy Rome - US&FCS
Via Vittorio Veneto 119/A
Matchmaker Product Manager
U.S Department of Commerce
US&FCS/EPS, Rm. 2110
14th and Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: (202) 482-4403
Fax: (202) 482-0178