Ocrim's top executives attend IAOM

by Arvin Donley
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In an interview with World Grain on May 14 at the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida, U.S., executives from Ocrim SpA discussed their strategy for positioning the company for a strong and profitable future.

Dr. Sergio Antolini, whose family, longtime investors in Ocrim, recently purchased a controlling interest and are majority stakeholders in the company, said that the manufacture and installation of grain milling equipment worldwide will continue to be Ocrim’s primary emphasis.

"Our core business is still milling for human consumption," said Antolini, who has a master’s degree in economics. "We have other side businesses such as feed and ethanol, but both derive from our core business."

Sergio Antolini said the company will benefit from a capital infusion from the Antolini family and other shareholders, and that Ocrim will receive several more capital infusions in the coming months.

Ocrim Chief Executive Officer Dr. Claudio Pinassi said another exciting recent development was the opening of an engineering and design company in New Delhi, India. "We will have about 43 engineers in different fields such as plants, machines, electrical and software," said Pinassi, who has a master’s degree in nuclear engineering. "It will be under the control and supervision of our engineering department and technical director in Cremona." Ocrim has manufacturing plants in Cremona, Italy; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Moscow, Russia, Pinassi said. He said the company is busy in the ethanol sector, with projects in the United States, Canada and Europe.

"Our work in ethanol comes from our experience in the core business of corn processing," Pinassi said. "We have put together four different corn processes just to optimize the process for the production of ethanol."

Ocrim said prospects also look very good in its flour milling business. Dr. Michele Greif, commercial director for Ocrim since October 2007, said at the IAOM meeting that the company recently commissioned a large flour mill in the Ivory Coast and has major flour mill installation projects under way in a number of other places such as Saudi Arabia and Spain.

Greif, who has a master’s degree in chemical engineering, said construction will begin in 2008 on a major project in Taiwan.

"It will be a top-level mill," said Greif, adding that other mill construction projects will commence soon in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Ocrim also continues to have a strong presence in the Americas, with the completion of recent high-profile flour mill projects for Mennel Milling in Roanoke, Virginia, U.S. and Nisshin Flour Milling in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.

"We are very busy," Greif said. "The future looks very positive."

Another new development for Ocrim is the launch of a redesigned website (www.ocrim.com) in July that Greif said will be more interactive and user-friendly.