The Syracuse petrochemical hub was created as part of the industrialisation plan for southern Italy after the Second World War. This plan was implemented in eastern Sicily by setting up plants for refining oil and processing its derivatives. Since its foundation in 1956, the Priolo Gargallo industrial plant has expanded significantly in the oil and chemical sectors, changing hands many times. In 1991, following a transaction with Enimont, Eni entered the site through its subsidiary Enichem, which acquired the refining plants from Montedison and transferred them to Agip Petroli in 1994.
A state of environmental emergency was declared during this decade (1990) and the site was classified as a Site of National Priority (1998). The Priolo site covers 5,800 hectares of land and over 10,000 hectares of sea, including the port of Augusta, an important crossroads for commercial shipping in the Mediterranean. Since 2002, Eni's subsidiaries have carried out emergency safety measures as well as the design, definition, implementation, management and monitoring of systems to eliminate contamination within their areas, in compliance with projects and protocols approved by the control bodies. The regeneration of the area includes circular and sustainable projects, such as the construction of photovoltaic plants, reusing treated groundwater and adopting innovative and environmentally friendly technologies including phytoremediation and permeable reactive barriers.