Published On: Sat, Sep 28th, 2019

Italian oil and gas company Eni opens new biorefinery in Gela, Italy

Eni Gela : Italian oil and company Eni has opened a new biorefinery in Gela, Italy, which has a processing capacity of up to 750,000 tonnes a year of biofuels.

The Italian biorefinery produces biofuels from used vegetable oil, animal fat, algae and by-products.

According to Eni, all the petrochemical facilities that were built in Gela since 1962 have been closed. Apart from the €294 million spent till date on reconversion of the refineries, the Italian oil and gas company intends to inject another €73 million to undertake additional preliminary activities and to enable pre-treatment of biomass, which is slated to be wrapped up by Q3 2020.

The biomass will be suppled to the Eni Gela biorefinery with second-generation raw material, coming from waste, advanced material, and raw vegetable oil.

As per Eni, the process of converting the conventional into a bio-refinery commenced in April 2016 and took over three million hours of work by its employees and third parties to wrap up the work.

The Italian oil and gas company said that for developing the Ecofining plant, the two existing desulphurisation units underwent modification. A steam reforming unit was also constructed to produce hydrogen, which is a basic ingredient in the biodiesel hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) which is added to fossil diesel at 15% to produce the premium fuel Enidiesel+.

Eni opens new biorefinery in Gela, Italy

Eni opens new biorefinery in Gela, Italy. Image courtesy of blackzheep at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Claudio Descalzi – Eni CEO, commenting on the Eni Gela biorefinery, said: “It’s a very important day for us. In Venice, we were the first in the world to convert a traditional refinery into a bio-refinery and now we’re opening our second, which is even more innovative. It’s a fresh example of Italian excellence.

“This is a big step forwards on our path to decarbonization, something we have been pursuing for some time but have stepped up in the last five years, investing in efficiency and in particular in green energy production, renewables and the circular economy.

“We have been doing this by transforming organic and inorganic substances, minimising waste and getting value out of rubbish and waste material, whilst at the same time developing research, technologies and industrial initiatives that will represent valuable future lines of business for Eni. It is an important milestone on this path and we are reaching it right here in Italy.”

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