From the beginning till now

Api Group have been in the energy field for over 80 years, building the business through commitment, knowledge, efficiency and shared values. Across three generations, the group have successfully faced the various challenges the sector inevitably entails with know-how and professionalism, in tune with the needs of both consumers and businesses and ensuring smooth running for all.

Since 1933 the group has combined expertise with enthusiasm, consolidating experience and results to become one of Europe’s foremost private industrial groups.

The key milestones:




4. THE 1970S

5. THE  1980S & 1990S



A holder of the esteemed Order of Merit for Labour, Ferdinando Peretti takes over Api (anonima petrol italiana SpA), a company founded by a small group of people from the Le Marche region of Italy with the aim of selling petroleum products locally.


A warehouse was completed at Falconara Marittima in the province of Ancona. Given its central position on Italy’s Adriatic coast, this was seen as a strategic location.


The warehouse’s capacity reaches 100,000 cubic metres and the pier is extended to a length of 1,300 metres, meaning it can handle up to 15,000 cubic metres of petroleum.


The company is granted the concession to work with crude oil (200,000 tonnes per annum) and construction of the first topping plant and related services begins next to the existing warehouse at Falconara Marittima.


In December the Falconara Marittima refinery, with a surface area of around 150,000 cubic metres, starts production and is launched by the Right Honourable Guiseppe Togni, the Minister of Industry.  1950 also sees the start of a series of territorial expansion and investment in new tanks and plants in order to meet the growing demand of the automobile industry for high octane fuel.  

1951 – 1954

A number of plants for fuel reforming and catalytic desulphurisation, together with the Visbreaking system are constructed in order to increase the average distillate yield. To meet the growing demand for petroleum products a vacuum unit for the production of bitumen and second atmospheric distillation unit are built.

Production and sale of the new Sprint 84/86 and Supersprint 92/94 petrols commence, whilst GPL and bitumen are also introduced. At the same time the wholesale and retail distribution networks for diesel and combustible fuels are developed.

1956 - 1957

The Suez Canal, Tripoli and Banias blocks cause the first global petroleum crisis and crude reserves diminish, leading to a colossal increase in sea freight costs. Despite the effects of the crisis lingering on for some years, Api navigates this difficult period and share capital reaches 2 billion lire. The refinery processes a million tonnes of crude oil. Api creates an artificial island measuring 3,785 metres off the coast at Falconara, linking it with the refinery by means of a bundle of six undersea pipes which receive crude oil and transport end products.


Italy enjoys the boom years with increased consumption also extending to the petroleum market. Api turnover enjoys an increase of 33%. Unifining and platforming units are added to the refinery.


The market starts to clamour for new products. The automobile industry demands higher-octane fuel solutions. Api sales increase by 45%. The refinery processes 1,928,000 tonnes.

1962 - 1964

The Api network expands with the acquisition and construction of new outlets, taking the number in Italy up to 900. Api opens its first motorway service station on the A1 and two new branches in Bolzano and Udine.

1965 – 1970

The refinery continues to develop with the purchase from the government of a reclaimed sea area (approximately 150,000 cubic metres) earmarked primarily for the construction of large tanks. Api builds an SIF warehouse and loading area, external service area for tanker truck stops and a new national warehouse, which opens in 1969 and substitutes the by now outdated one built in the 1950s.

In 1967 the first desulphurisation plant is built.


A 16-km long underwater oil pipeline is designed and launched, linking to a platform in the open sea off Falconara. With a rotating head, large oil tankers up to 400,000 tonnes are able to dock. (Very Large Crude Carrier: VLCC).


The first self-service service stations open along Italy’s motorway.


Agreements made in Kuwait and Switzerland stipulate that the crude market be run by OPEC, whilst the so-called “Seven Sisters” lose some of their power. The Arab-Israeli Kippur war starts, sparking a huge oil crisis. The cost of petroleum spirals to 17 dollars a barrel, but again Api manages to navigate its way through the difficult period.


Tanks 61 and 62, with capacity of 160,000 cubic metres, are added to the refinery. With a diameter capable of holding a football pitch, they are the largest in Europe.


Founder Nando Peretti dies. Aldo Brachetti Peretti becomes the new President / Managing Director, whilst Vittori Ricci is named Vice President / Managing Director. Api implements a new administrative and commercial organisational structure which is considered innovative for the times. The company workforce is made up of over 1,020 people and the distribution network reaches 1,720 outlets, of which 87% are company-owned and 13% privately-owned.


Prices in the market stabilise, but towards the end of the year the Islamic revolution in Iran sparks a new oil crisis which once again Api manages to navigate. Two new outlets open on Italy’s motorways.


The oil pipeline system of the island is upgraded with two new pipelines, one measuring 16 inches in diameter and the other 24 inches. This latter, still unique in Europe even today, has an electric heating plant with temperatures up to 65°C, able to discharge crude oil at high freezing point and exceptionally high viscosity.



Api – raffineria [refinery] di Ancona SpA, a society controlled by Api anonima is created, and becomes the centre of all industrial activity of the group.


Hostilities break out between Iran and Iraq and Api’s commercial relations with Iraq suffer. As barrel production continues to decrease, spot prices rise and the CIP system is shown to be unable to cope with market variations.


1983- 1990

Safety, the environment, product quality and energy savings come into focus in these years. A series of EU directives and national legislation impact choices and create new market demands.

The refinery introduces a major programme of restructuring and production cycle optimisation, creating new production units such as an atmospheric distillation plant, and modernising existing units. The refinery also embarks on a series of significant investments to implement innovative conversion plants.

In 1984 Api Services Ltd is created in London to monitor the international market, the branches in Naples and Genoa are closed and it is the start of a reorganisation of the Italian territory, resulting in the retention of only commercial strongholds and operational bases.

In 1989 api Holding SpA is founded, focused mainly on the energy diversification sectors and the development of electric energy from renewable sources (wind, biomass and methane).


In line with oil regulations, a project called “Safety, Energy and the Environment” (SEA) is introduced, which sees a three-year 90-step administrative process gather over 30 opinions before implementing a series of actions. SEA is an ambitious investment plan undertaken in order to comply with future EU rules, and is designed to further improve safety (the GPL plant is consigned underground) and environmental impact, together with product quality. The Falconara refinery is transformed into an “integrated energy hub” able to produce petroleum products of exceptional quality and “clean” electric energy via IGCC (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) technology. The SEA project entails an investment of over 1,800 billion lire.

1992 sees the creation of apienergia through a joint venture between the api group and ABB, with the aim of developing IGCC, one of the European combined-cycle plants. This uses the heavy residues from the refining cycle, transforming them into “clean” synthesis gases (syngas), which in turn are used to product electric energy and steam.


Ferdinando and Ugo Brachetti Peretti are appointed joint Vice Presidents of Api - anonima petroli italiana SpA and Api raffineria [refinery] SpA.


The refinery builds an underground GPL depot to substitute the existing aboveground pressure and refrigeration plants. This is the first plant in Europe of its kind, ie built within a refinery, and is designed to dramatically reduce any risk outside the factory walls.

A third desulphurisation unit is also built in this year. Running at 99.5% efficiency it can produce diesel fuel with sulphur levels under 0.05.

Another milestone is the start of production of leadfree petrol ahead of the deadlines determined by legislation.


Ferdinando Brachetti Peretti is named Executive Vice President of api holding SpA, whilst Ugo Brachetti Peretti becomes Executive Vice President of api anonima petroli italiana SpA.

Texaco (owners of the gasification technology patent) become shareholders in api energia by means of the sale of shares amounting to 24% of the registered capital of the ABB group (api 51% of which 1.16 is held by api Holding, 49.84 by api anonima, and the remaining 49% held by ABB Cap with 25% and TDC Texaco Development Corporation 24%).


Umberto Scarimboli becomes Managing Director of api anonima petroli italiana SpA and implements a new organisational structure to support the competitive repositioning strategy.

The Scuola Formazione Gestori (Management Training School) is set up at Falconara with the goal of sharing know-how with all company commercial employees and sales network managers.

The “Festival project”, a chain specialising in fast food and consumer goods,


The new millennium also heralds a significant event for Api with the opening of the IGCC power station at Falconara, for the production of electric energy.


Following the UNI EN ISO 9002 certification of the internal laboratory (given in 2001), the Api refinery obtains the European Ohsas 18001 certification for employee safety and ISO 1400 for its environmental compliance.


Sales outlets now account for 5% of the Italian market. Api celebrates 70 years of activity by renewing the Refinery licence.


The group acquires the company IP from Eni, taking the api network from 1,650 units to over 3,000 service stations.


Ferdinando and Ugo Brachetti Peretti are respectively named President of api nova energia and api - anonima petroli italiana SpA. The group adds renewable energy development (wind, biomass and methane) to its portfolio throughout Italy.


The api group rebrands the entire distribution network, bringing them all together under a new brand, IP api Group which now encompasses both the api and IP brands.


Focus on the renewable energy sector slowly diminishes as investments reach maturity.

Daniele Bandiere is appointed Managing Director of anonima petroli italiana.

Api enjoys growth in the fuel distribution sector up until the acquisition of TotalErg in November 2017 at which point api becomes the main fuel distributor operator in Italy in terms of number of outlets (over 5,000). It acquires a holding in the Trecate refinery in the Italian province of Novara, which serves as a support to the original Falconara plant which has also been upgraded with a marine bunker production plant and has received Integrated Environmental Authorisation.