At the opening ceremony there were numerous guests such as the Italian Ambassador, His Excellency Alessandro Graffini, Italian Consul Roberto Pietrosanto, Italian ethnic minority parliamentary representative Furio Radin, Mayor of Rijeka Vojko Obersnel, deputy County Prefect Luka Denona and the Chief Executive Officer of Saipem Hugh
O’Donnell. The ENI group employs around 25,000 people worldwide and has more than 1 billion worth contracts in all parts of the world.
According to director Giorgio Minardi, Saipem Mediterranean Services Company that started with its work in Rijeka in the beginning of the year 2001 with only eight employees, has today become a representative company employing 264 employees. In the past four years Saipem has realized 14,000 lessons of training and invested significant means in the acquisition of the most art-of-the-state equipment in order for the company to gain a strong position on the market. It is commendable that its Croatian employees are directly involved within project teams working on all of the most challenging international projects.
Rijeka Mayor Vojko Obersnel spoke about the significance of Saipem Mediterranean Services Company, pointing out that the opening of the laboratory for the control of welding technology is of great importance for Rijeka economy, adding that it had been still more important for the city when this company decided to open here its office for the Mediterranean, as a great honor for Rijeka.
Contacting director Minardi four years ago I could not have assumed that the company would develop so quickly. The opening of this laboratory opens also a possibility for the employment of young professionals, while this occasion also proves that we have been right in our efforts to revitalize the space of the former Torpedo factory, in the halls of which this new Laboratory has been opened. Obersnel expressed his hope that the Saipem Mediterranean Services Company is going to continue with its flourishing business and development, as this is of a common interest.
The Italian Ambassador, His Excellency Alessandro Graffini, pointed out that Saipem is a big company, present worldwide. It employs a great number of Croatians, their professional knowledge being high. The investment of Saipem in Rijeka is a significant part of overall investment of the Republic of Italy in the last years, Italy reaching a very top position among foreign investors in Croatia. Besides its investments in high technology, of significance are also its investments into banking, while Italy with 5 billion dollars takes the first place of the Croatian foreign trade exchange. Ambassador Graffini also said that 1.5 million tourist from Italy visit Croatia every year so that Italy can be considered to be a strategic partner of Croatia. Italy will, concluded Ambassador Graffini, remain Croatian ally on its way towards European integrations.