Genomatica, for the production of bio-butadiene; Yulex, for the production natural rubber from guayule; Pirelli, for a research project on using guayule natural rubber to produce high performance tyres with energy saving advantages; Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc., for the development and industrialization of a new technology for the production of bio-chemical intermediates from vegetable oils. By integrating these processes into its industrial cycle and using feedstock from renewable sources, Versalis will also be able to obtain new chemical products, integrating the basic chemicals and polymers that have always been its core business with highly innovative and specialist products.
In April 2013, Versalis and Genomatica signed an agreement to set up a technological joint venture for the production of butadiene from renewable sources. The goal of the joint venture is to develop an entire supply chain for the on-purpose production of butadiene from biomass from non-food sources. The new joint venture will have exclusive ownership of the technology covered by the agreement in Europe, Asia and Africa.
In 2014, Versalis has reached an important understanding with the trade unions on the transformation project to relaunch the Porto Marghera site. This aims to redesign the production structure and restore its competitiveness. The project is an integral part of Versalis’ strategy to develop new initiatives to strengthen its product portfolio, also through the development of the green chemistry business, and to reduce exposure to standard and less innovative commodities, produced in large quantities for the global market by various operators.
In this context, the Versalis plant in Porto Marghera remains strategically important in geographical terms due to its vicinity to the Northern European market and its integral links with the other Versalis plants. The supply of raw materials from the plants in Mantua, Ferrara and Ravenna is guaranteed by crucially important logistical infrastructures. The overall programme in Porto Marghera includes an investment of around 200 million euro, which will be used for both optimization of the cracking plant and restructuring of the utilities, producing significant energy savings, and the new green chemistry initiative. The innovative green chemistry project, the pilot phases of which are already in progress with the American company Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc., includes the use of facilities, that are the first of their kind worldwide, to develop and industrialize a new technology for the production of bio-chemical intermediates from vegetable oils. These will be used in high added value applications such as detergents, bio-lubricants and chemical products for the oil and gas industry.
The project will use existing infrastructure at the site and be integrated with the production streams of Versalis.
In 2014, Versalis has reached an important understanding with the trade unions on the project to relaunch the Porto Marghera site.