Our transformation

We have an eighty years long history behind us. We have kept in step with changing times, with a dynamic and responsive spirit. From being an oil company, we first became a multi-energy group and then we transformed our organisation into a player in the field of renewable energy.

Constantly running ahead of worldwide trends, we have been able to challenge our own core business, accept the challenges of future global energy scenarios and implement a radical change of our business model.

All this without forgetting our heritage, based on a solid industrial and managerial culture.

We are proud to tell you our story, from our foundation to the present day.
  • 1938 - Our origins
    On 2 June 1938 Dr. Edoardo Garrone founded his sole-proprietor firm to "market products made by processing crude oil and coal tar". His company, named Edoardo Raffinerie Garrone, became a refinery shortly after the end of the Second World War, and chose a hex nut as its trademark. (A nut is called a "Dado" in Italian, which happens to also be Edoardo's affectionate diminutive name). The initials of the company's name were written on its sides: ERG. In 1947 we started production at the San Quirico Refinery, in Genoa. Following World War II, in a country that needed to be completely rebuilt, the huge demand for energy made crude oil become the most suitable energy source to meet the nation's needs. Thanks to the favourable situation and the fortunate location of the plants, the refining business became strategic for ERG. In 1956 we signed our first important international contract: it was with British Petroleum, which subsequently, for a number of years, held a significant minority stake in ERG. In 1971, along with other private groups, we became a shareholder of ISAB, a company that was formed to build a large refinery in Sicily, and that began production in 1975 (ISAB of Priolo). In 1985, in anticipation of the shutdown of our San Quirico refinery in Genoa, we bought a controlling stake of ISAB, and increased it over the years until we reached 100% in 1997.
  • 1984 - ERG's network grows
    After having developed our business mainly in the refining sector, we also started to grow across Italy in the fuel distribution sector through our subsidiary, ERG Petroli. In 1984, we acquired the 780 service stations of the Italian subsidiary of ELF and in 1986 the 1,700 stations of Chevron Oil Italiana: ERG's network was growing, and gained widespread brand awareness on all Italian roads, by its trademark based on three prancing tigers.
  • 1997 - Listing on the Stock Market
    By rationalising our corporate structure, and decisively focusing on our core energy business, we prepared our listing on the stock market. Our goal was to create the conditions for a more efficient financing of the new development phase that was before us. In October 1997, ERG's shares were listed on the Italian Electronic Stock Market.
  • The 2000s - From an oil company to a multi-energy company
    In 2000 we started to produce electricity as ISAB Energy (a joint venture with Edison Mission Energy), with an installed capacity of 528 MW and an estimated production of about 4 billion kWh per year. Our goal was to build the first Italian plant for the regasification of crude oil residues used to generate electricity: the innovative industrial project was funded by a project financing of about 1,900 billion lire, an unprecedented amount for the time in Italy. From a petroleum company, we became a "multi-energy" company. ERG Raffinerie Mediterranee was formed a few years later, in October 2002, to manage one of the largest and most efficient refinery complexes in Europe, a result of the merger and integration of ERG's ISAB refinery with the former AGIP refinery in Priolo, near Siracusa. The integration of the two refineries took place by building an oil pipeline system and the other works needed to adapt and improve the plant's production efficiency and environmental compatibility, so as to give the new site a highly competitive position in the international scenario. At the end of 2002 Alessandro Garrone was appointed Chief Executive Officer of ERG. In 2003 Riccardo Garrone resigned his position as Chairman of ERG, after forty years. Edoardo, his eldest son, replaced him. The Fondazione Edoardo Garrone was set up in 2004, as a natural development of the commitment of the Garrone and Mondini families and of the ERG Group companies in the social and cultural fields. The Foundation's purpose is to effectively contribute to the dissemination, enjoyment and understanding of culture, art and science, besides actively contributing to ethical and solidarity-inspired projects. Since 2005, ERG's stock has been a component of the MIDEX index within Borsa Italiana's Blue Chips segment. The transition from the STAR segment to the Blue-Chips segment was due to the significant increase in the market capitalisation of ERG's shares.
  • 2006 - ERG enters the renewable energy sector
    ERG acquired EnerTAD S.p.A, a company listed on the Milan Stock Exchange that builds and managed systems for wind-based electricity generation. The transaction marked our entry into the renewable energy sector: a significant step in our new multi-energy strategy. EnerTAD subsequently changed its name to ERG Renew.
  • 2008 - The LUKOIL agreement and the founding of the ISAB S.r.l. newco
    The 2008 was the year of our agreement with LUKOIL, one of the most momentous agreements of the Group's history. By creating ISAB S.r.l. (51% ERG - 49% LUKOIL), we formed a strong partnership to support our refining activities and manage the ISAB refinery in Priolo.
  • 2008 to 2016 - Transformation and consolidation: our growth in wind power and our entry into the hydropower sector
    Between 2008 and 2015 we have put in place a profound transformation process under which we have divested from the oil sector and reinvested in renewable energy. In seven years, between 2008 and 2014, we have divested assets for 3.3 billion euros and reinvested 3.9 billion euros in renewable energy related assets. In these years we divested our oil related assets: we created the TotalErg joint venture, exited coastal refining by selling the ISAB refinery, and sold the ISAB Energy plant and the ERG Oil Sicilia fuel distribution network. At the same time we reinvested in clean energy production assets: we expanded in wind power in Italy and abroad by acquiring existing plants and building new ones, we started our new high efficiency natural gas cogeneration plant, we entered the hydro power generation sector by acquiring the Terni hydroelectric complex. As early as 2013, ERG Renew made us the first wind operator in Italy with 1,087 MW of installed capacity, and among the top ten in Europe (with 1,340 MW). That same year we set up ERG Renew Operations & Maintenance to operate and maintain our wind farms. In February 2016 we ventured into a new foreign wind market, the UK, acquiring a project for the construction of a wind farm in Northern Ireland (45 MW) and finalised the acquisition of eleven wind farms in France and six in Germany (206 MW). Our total installed power in Europe rose to 1,721 MW.
  • The Group today

    We have completed our conversion to clean energy production. We have created a portfolio that is diversified by the technologies it uses and by its geographical spread, and that is complementary and flexible: 97% of our business is focused on environmentally friendly electricity production.

    At the same time we have achieved a complete industrial scale (we develop, build and manage our assets), we achieved international reach and are continually expanding abroad. Our transformation has also had significant effects on the environment. All our environmental indicators have improved, from 2008 to 2016.

    With the transfer of TotalErg and entrance into the solar energy market, we have successfully concluded our process of industrial transformation from oil to renewable sources, an ambitious and complex journey, which over the past ten years has led us to become groundbreakers in the energy sector and a leading European supplier of electrical energy from renewable sources, as well as the very first windfarm operator in Italy. In November 2017, we signed a transfer agreement for our holdings in TotalErg to the api Group. The operation marked our definitive exit from the oil business and allowed us to strengthen further the financial structure to the benefit of the development of renewable sources. 
    Also in November, we signed a purchase agreement for 30 photovoltaic fields for 89MW, located in eight Italian regions, bringing another important element to our technological portfolio.    

    In the course of 2018, we took several steps forward in the growth outlined by the Business Plan, adding nearly 200 MW both through M&A in solar (with particular reference to the acquisition of Forvei for 89 MW and the recent acquisition of Andromeda for 51 MW, which is consolidated as from 2019), and through greenfield development (entry into operation of the Torfou and Valle del'Aa wind farms in France), and bringing forward the repowering project with presentation of the applications for authorisation for an even higher number of MW than included in the Plan.


"ERG. Always one step ahead"Cover Libro 80 anni ERG  

80 years of ERG, 80 years of energy. A long business story whose underlying theme has been, and will continue to be, energy. Not just the energy we produce but above all the energy of all the people that down the years have helped us achieve our many remarkable results.

This book aims to present our history – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow – through a mix of words and images, and is the perfect follow-up to the book produced to mark our 70th anniversary, From Oil to Energy. ERG 1938-2008.

For the historic images in the book we dipped into our precious photo archive while for those relating to more recent times we called on a top international photographer whose evocative snaps of our plants offer a glimpse of our day-to-day activities and our relationship with Nature. Indeed, the power and beauty of Nature are our greatest resources.

Read our book (PDF version)