Since 2013 eni has been reaping the benefits of its efforts by investing in green innovation to maintain and renew production objectives of the areas where it operates.
The integrated biorefinery projects and the production by Versalis of biochemicals, chemicals for lubricants and green diesel for use in the biorefinery are examples of this trend.
In 2014 the biorefinery in Porto Marghera will be launched and production will increase progressively as the new plants enter into operation by the end of 2015. Thanks to a new technology and an investment of around 100 million euro, eni will produce, for the first time, biofuels from raw vegetable material, in line with the European Union’s environmental policy to reduce greenhouse gases. The project includes conversion of the existing plants, which until recently produced conventional fuels from crude oil, using the Ecofining™ technology, created and developed by eni together with the American company UOP. The use of this technology for the conversion of existing plants, for which eni has submitted a patent application, has proved essential, reducing costs by 80% and forming the basis of eni’s redevelopment strategy for industrial sites in the refining and other sectors.
At present and only for the initial phase, the plant uses palm oil, a first generation “feedstock”. The use of second generation sources, and in particular animal fats, is planned from the beginning of 2016, and will constitute up to 10% of the total feedstock. The possibility of integration with oil biomass plants is also being considered to reuse the waste produced, such as the distilled fatty acids and glycerine (third generation feedstock).
The refurbished Porto Marghera site will guarantee a sustainable future for the area and the local economy, with a significant reduction in emissions and water consumption. Considering only emissions from the production cycle, CO2 emissions at Porto Marghera will be reduced by more than 40% compared with previous levels, based on annual production of 360 thousand tonnes of biofuel.
The Green Diesel produced also has a high calorific power compared with that normally produced, enabling eni to reduce the quantity of biofuels to be added to conventional fuels.