Progra was established in Ravenna in 1987 in an area characterized by extensive industrialization developed in parallel with the growth of maritime traffic of its port channel and concurrently with the exploitation of the local hydrocarbon reserves both on-shore as off-shore. These were the conditions that made possible, from the late 50’s, the settlement of various petrochemical industries (downstream of the realization of one of the largest petrochemical plant in Europe) as well as, later, the development of an electro-mechanical industry specialized in the construction and maintenance of the numerous Oil&Gas platforms installed off its coast.
Progra was born in order to cope with the lack, in Ravenna, of organized structures able to perform engineering services to meet the demands of industrial customers. In particular, the presence in the social membership of one of the most important Italian Companies operating in the field of turnkey construction of offshore platforms, initially oriented the company’s activities to the field of structural engineering for Oil&Gas applications.
Thanks to Progra it was possible, for the first time in Ravenna, to develop jacket shop drawings (also through the use of a specific software designed to study the tubular connections of nodes), to have a full engineering support for site construction, load out and sea transport phases, as well as to carry out static and dynamic finite element calculations of decks and jackets.
At the same time Progra carried out some important projects in the field of mechanical design for goods handling and transportation port systems (such as pneumatic towers for the port of Manfredonia and pneumatic ship unloader capacity 300 T/H for Roncuzzi Industrial Service) as well as the full structural design of a large 50 meters wide and 200 meter long steel warehouse.
In 1992, Alusuisse (a company of the Swiss Group Lonza) acquired a large area, of about 100 acres, with the intention of building a plant for the production of maleic anhydride and commissioned Progra to develop the civil and structural design of the entire plant including, in addition to the building for the production of maleic anhydride, the storage tanks of the finished product, the buried butane storage tanks, the electrical substation, the energy recovery plant building and the whole sewerage of the entire area. The relationship went on in 1996 when Lonza SpA (which, in the meantime, directly replaced Alusuisse) commissioned Progra to develop the entire multidisciplinary design (civil, structural, mechanical and electro-instrumental) of the new plant for the production, finishing and storage of Tetraftalic Anidride.
Therefore goes back to that period a gradual extension of the field of action of Progra, both with regards to the customers (which from Oil & Gas and port facilities widened to the whole petrochemical industry), both with regards to the type of engineering offer that covered a broad multidisciplinary spectrum.
In 2002 Progra internal staff grew up to 25 employees.