Impresa Rizzani S.A. is established in Udine as a general contracting and construction company. Within a few years, it becomes one of Italy’s most respected and prestigious construction companies, carrying out prestigious infrastructure projects in Italy and in several countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Rizzani experiences a period of unparallaled growth, also fuelled by Italy’s colonial ambitions after WWI.
After the WVII years, which saw the Süd-Tirol (the German-speaking area of North-Eastern Italy) lacerated by internecine conflicts and ultimate defeat, Riccardo de Eccher founds Impresa di Costruzioni de Eccher Srl, in Egna, a village in Northern Italy, dedicated to real estate development and general building construction in the residential and mountain hospitality spaces, thus completing several successful projects in one of Italy’s most dynamic economic zones.
Riccardo de Eccher moves his focus of interest from Süd-Tirol to the city of Udine in Friuli Venezia Giulia, the eastern-most region of Northern Italy: an area of incredible beauty, outstanding human resources potential, culture and values similar to those of Süd-Tirol, and an untapped economic development potential due to the fact that the region sits at the border of the “Cold War”. With incredible foresight, de Eccher takes over Rizzani, merging in 1973 the wealth of experience, technical knowledge and track record of the two companies into a new single entity. Rizzani de Eccher is born.
In May this year, the areas surrounding Udine are hit by one of the 20th Century’s most devastating earthquakes, with 6.5 moment magnitude on the Richtter scale. Rizzani de Eccher spearheads the reconstruction effort, of both infrastructure and buildings, developing unrivalled know-how in the engineering and rapid construction of road infrastructure (especially bridges and viaducts) and in the complex rehabilitation, restoration and recovery of historical buildings. Two sets of abilities that may seem very different to each other, but will come in very handy in the near future.
Rizzani de Eccher experiences another period of dramatic growth, fuelled nationally by Italy’s massive transport infrastructure development plan, and regionally. During these years, Rizzani de Eccher also develops innovative proprietary technologies for the engineering and construction of bridges and viaducts, positioning itself as a national champion in the infrastructure development market of Italy. During this same period, Rizzani de Eccher makes its first forays outside Italy, in Algeria and Russia (then the USSR), to build schools and vast industrial buildings.
During these years, Rizzani de Eccher finally consecrate its development vocation to the overseas markets. Important and iconic projects are built and delivered in the Middle East, Africa, Russia and the Americas. The percentage of turnover and order book generated by international orders grows steadily until reaching 90% towards the end of the decade. The Group acquires the definitive status of one of Italy’s top exporters and stand-bearers of the nation’s corporate excellence.
Rizzani de Eccher becomes one of the top ten Italian contractors and makes it into the world’s 100 largest contractors, according to Top International Contractors.
Rizzani de Eccher acquires and successfully brings to completion several mega-projects worth in the billions of dollars, in North Africa (Algeria), the Middle East (Qatar and Kuwait), several cities in Australia, and in the centre of Moscow (Russia). Rizzani de Eccher acquires Sacaim SpA, leading construction company with over 100 years of history, based in Venice and renowned for its expert restoration skills (including La Fenice opera house and San Marco Basilica’s bell-tower in Venice). Rizzani de Eccher also strengthens its position as leading provider of bridge technologies with the acquisition of Tensa (Tensacciai srl), post-tensioning and stay-cables, and TIS (Tecniche Idraulico-Stradali SpA), seismic devices, bearings and expansion joints.
Rizzani de Eccher acquires its first large project in Luxembourg: the 238.800m2 mixed use development at La Cloche d’Or (Gasperich) for a total value in excess of EUR 251 million. This projects marks the entrance of the Group into the markets of Europe North of the Alps.
While the markets in Europe, Nordic Countries and Russia continue to grow, Rizzani de Eccher breaks for the first time the billion euro mark in turnover, closing the year with over €1.1 billion in consolidated revenues. This happens in a marked counter-trend vis-à-vis the majority of Italian contractors, who experience financial difficulties, retrenching or forced mergers and aggregation.
Rizzani de Eccher SpA is the only company worldwide receiving the same year two ENR Global Best Projects Award, the most important construction industry award, for the best Bridge/tunnel project with the Matagarup Pedestrian Bridge in Perth, Australia and the best Sport/Entertainment project with the VTB Dynamo Stadium in Moscow, Russia.
Notwithstanding the Covid pandemic, the Group maintains its position as one of the world’s premier construction businesses and a market leader in many fields, with a share of revenues from overseas operations greater than 70% and a presence in over 30 countries. The Group operates in four areas of activity in which it consistently demonstrates its expertise and flair for innovation as a contractor for: general buildings, infrastructures, specialized bridge and viaducts equipment and engineering and real estate development.