A COMPLETE RANGE OF AMINO ACID AND PEPTIDE BASED FERTILISERS
In its plants in Arzignano and Chiampo (Vicenza), the company transforms the processing residues from leather tanning into protein hydrolysates, mainly used as biostimulants for agriculture and retardants for the plaster industry, supplying the main players in the agrochemical and industrial sectors, exporting its products in more than 90 countries.
SICIT is an Italian excellence of the green and circular economy that offers a service of strategic importance for the Vicenza leather district, collecting and transforming residues into high added value products, totally biodegradable, without risks for the public health and the environment, limiting the production of waste to almost zero. This is the result of important investments in R&D and the contribution of its three cutting-edge laboratories.
To further accelerate the development plan, in May 2019 SICIT concluded the business combination with the Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) SprintItaly: a 100-million-euro operation that led to its listing on the AIM Italia and, in June 2020, on the MTA (STAR segment) and which will allow the company to continue to strengthen its plants and laboratories, as well as to build the first production plant abroad.
ACHIEVEMENTS FOR OVER 50 YEARS
- 1960 - Giuliano Guardini founds S.I.C.I.T. S.p.A. (acronym for Società Industrie Chimiche ITaliane) in Chiampo (Vicenza). The initial intent of the company was to extract chromium from the leather tanning residues and sell it to tanneries. The idea was not successful and SICIT converted to protein extraction through the hydrolysis process.
- 1963 - following the analyses related to the carbuncle problem, SICIT is indicated as the only entity suitable to treat the tanning residues: the SICIT protocol becomes a legal obligation and all tanneries start delivering their residues to the company. In this period SICIT products were destined for industrial farming of calfs.
- 1968-1970 - start-up of the experimental plant to process the fleshing and obtain a protein hydrolysate for agriculture. SICIT can thus count on a double market: the zootechnical and the agricultural ones.
- Mid-1970s - start of fat production, then destined to feed mills.
- 1989-1991 - SICIT passes under the management of Z. Filippi. A short but rich phase of investments, including the start of the project to separate the treatment of fleshing from shaving. This will allow the construction of two lines to separate the sludge (for landfills) from the calcium corrective (for agriculture).
- 1991-1996 - SICIT passes under the ownership of Intesa, a company founded by a group of tanners from Arzignano to manage the disposal of residues from the tanning industry. Intesa completes the restructuring project started with the previous ownership, including the separation of the two lines.
- 1996 - the diffusion of the so-called "Mad Cow" involves a period of great restructuring for SICIT: the Research & Development division is dedicated to new products for the agricultural and industrial sectors. Working together with the University of Edinburgh, SICIT succeeded in developing a more effective hydrolysis process for processing animal by-products from the tanning industry. This process becomes the only one allowed for the production of protein hydrolysates of animal origin, also allowed for zootechnical use, and considered the state of the art in the processing of animal by-products.
- 2000 - start of construction of the plant in Arzignano (VI).
- 2000 - following an internal reorganisation, two new companies are created: SICIT 2000 S.p.A. and SICIT Chemitech S.p.A. The first one dedicated to the production and sale of amino acids and peptides for agriculture: thanks to the two plants and a total production capacity of 100 MT/day of liquid products and 40 MT/day of powdered products, it becomes the largest producer of amino acid fertilizers in the world. SICIT Chemitech is responsible for quantity control, product traceability and research and development (R&D) of new formulations and processes.
- 2004 - inauguration of the new plant in Arzignano.
- 2006 - 2011 - renovation and automation of the Chiampo plant.
- 2016 - establishment of SICIT China.
- 2018 - establishment of SICIT USA.
- 2019 - following the business combination with the Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) SprintItaly, SICIT Group is founded and in May is listed on the AIM Italia.
- 2020 - in June SICIT completes the translisting to the MTA (Italian Equities Market, STAR segment) of Borsa Italiana.
OFFICES, PLANTS AND LABORATORIES
TWO PRODUCTION PLANTS IN ITALY, ONE COMMERCIAL SUBSIDIARY IN CHINA AND ONE IN THE USA, AS WELL AS CUTTING-EDGE LABORATORIES
In Italy, SICIT has two highly automated and technological production plants and three cutting-edge laboratories. The company also has a commercial subsidiary in China, in Shanghai (SICIT Commercial Consulting Shanghai Ltd), and one in the United States, in the State of New York (SICIT USA Inc.).
The first of the two Italian production plants is located in Chiampo (Vicenza) and began its activity in 1960: it was the first plant for the production of amino acid fertilizers in the world and in 2011 it has been completely renovated and automated.
The second plant is located in Arzignano (Vicenza), it has been inaugurated in 2004 and entirely designed by the engineers of SICIT Chemitech. With its surface area of 20,000 m2 it is one of the largest of its kind in the world, and has been defined as the “state of the art” of plants for the production of amino acids, as it is fully automated and equipped with the most advanced technologies. All stages of the production process are controlled by a distributed control system (DCS) consisting of more than 3,000 I/0 signals, controlled by a HACCP (Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points) system.
The traceability procedure used in the plants allows to identify each single batch of final product that is specifically numbered, allowing to trace the corresponding batch of raw material, through registers managed by the production department. In this way, the complete traceability of the material and the process is guaranteed.
The Quality Control laboratory (ISO 9001 certified) controls on a daily basis both the production process stages and the final product batch, performing a complete chemical-physical and bacteriological characterization of the amino acids and peptides.
The most important analytical instruments are:
- ICP-OES spectrophotometer for the determination of metals and non-metals;
- Atomic absorption spectrophotometer for the determination of metal concentrations;
- Four lines of high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) for the determination of anion concentrations, molecular weight distribution, concentration of free and total amino acids, distribution of chiral amino acids (forms L and D);
- Elemental NC analyser for the elemental analysis of nitrogen, carbon, oxygen and sulphur.
The R&D laboratory develops new processes and tests new products in special pilot plants. It can also produce small quantities of experimental products, including testing at the customer site.
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SICIT’s hydrolysed proteins (amino acids and peptides) are products of natural origin, totally biodegradable and without risks for the public health and the environment.
In Italy, they are authorised for use in organic farming, in accordance with Annex 3 to Legislative Decree no. 75 of 29 April 2010.
Bioacricert is a certification authority member of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Farming Movements) that issues a regular declaration for SICIT products, certifying their compliance with the criteria established by the international standards IFOAM.
On 25 May 2011, the results of the conference Innocuity and efficiency of hydrolysed proteins for nitrogen fertilization in organic farming (PROIDRO), held in Chiampo (Vicenza), were presented. The conference and the research project were coordinated by Dr. Anna Benedetti of CRA-RPS, Council for Research and Experimentation in Agriculture – Research Centre for the Study of the Relations between Plant and Soil, with the patronage of MIPAAF (Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry).
Finally, the PROIDRO project was presented to the Standing Committee on Organic Farming (SCOF) in Brussels and judged positively. Therefore, hydrolysed proteins of animal origin have been officially proposed to be included among the fertilizers and soil conditioners authorized for use in organic farming according to Reg. 889/2008/EC, Annex I.