Also the chemical sector has seen renewed investments and a massive reduction of its impact. The planned reduction in fresh water consumption by 50% over four years and the launch of an ambitious energy efficiency project demonstrate the priority given to the environment in this area.
Through its subsidiary EniPower, eni’s thermal power sector has also received investments of over 3 billion euro (2001-2013), enabling specific emissions of CO2 per KWh equivalent to be reduced by over 30% compared to the European average for the sector. This result has been obtained with the use of natural gas in combined heat and power systems enabling the almost total elimination of SO2 emissions. Even though the emissions and water consumption rates are the best in the industry (406 gr CO2, 0.158 gr NOx and 0.017 m3 of water for each KWh equivalent produced), a further project is underway to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency.
The chemical sector has the goal of reducing fresh water consumption by 50%.
Also of environmental note in Italy is the work of Syndial, a company set up for the purpose of performing reclamation work at 50 industrial sites (an area of over 4,000 ha), often including third party sites taken on by eni. eni’s objective is not only to restore the value of the land but also to keep the industrial sites operational and establish cutting edge technology so that the projects can act as a model for future restoration work. Unique plants have been built such as the Groundwater Treatment Works in Gela and Priolo in Sicily, which produce high quality osmotically filtered water for industrial use from highly saline ground water with a hydrocarbon content of 12,000 ppm.
At the site in Priolo, 400 million euro were spent on reclamation activities during the 2003-2013 period and in 2013 production of electricity from solar power started at the EniPower plant in Gela (a 5 MWp solar power station) built on the reclaimed phosphogypsum dump.
The new photovoltaic field project is the fruit of the partnership between EniPower and Syndial, which has thus been able to significantly reduce the costs of “capping” the dump. The Gela Refinery has connected up its own electricity grid and Saipem supplied the engineering services. The plant, which can supply up to 5 MW of power, will reduce atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide by about 4,500 tons a year.