MOSCOW (MRC) -- Eni and the BF Group have partnered to develop sustainable agricultural products for biofuel production, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.
Through an equal joint venture (50% Eni, 50% BF), projects will be developed to research and experiment with agricultural seeds from oil plants to be used as feedstock at Eni's bio-refineries. Furthermore, the agreement between the companies provides for the purchase by Eni of a minority stake in BF Bonifiche Ferraresi's subsidiary and for Eni's entry into BF's share capital by means of a reserved capital increase.
The agreement builds on a strong track record of collaboration between Eni and BF in the agricultural sector for the development of economic diversification initiatives, skill transfer and support for entrepreneurship in Italy and abroad.
The agreement is of strategic importance as Bonifiche Ferraresi, at 7,750 hectares, is the largest Italian farm in terms of utilized agricultural surface area and Eni produces advanced biofuels at its bio-refinery in Gela and Venice Porto Marghera, one of the tools to help contain CO2 emissions in the transport sector. As of 2023, Eni will no longer use palm oil in its production processes.
The testing and experimentation activities of the joint venture will be carried out at Bonifiche Ferraresi’s “Open Sky Laboratories” in Sardinia and will be aimed at assessing the ability to replicate production processes currently used in Italy in the other countries in which Eni operates, Africa in particular. The joint venture will also focus on the development of training programmes for personnel for agro-feedstock project development sectors.
The initiative is part of Eni's strategy for achieving full carbon neutrality by 2050, which includes green refining as a strategic element, with production capacity expected to double to around 2 MM tons by 2024 and a further increase to 5/6 MM tons expected by 2050.
As MRC wrote earlier, Eni is evaluating conversion of its Livorno refinery in northwest Italy into a biorefinery, as part of the Italian company's wider strategy to make its activities more environmentally sustainable. Eni has already converted two of its Italian refineries and is looking to almost double its biorefining capacity to around 2 million mt/year by 2024, and expand this to at least five times by 2050, as part of its pledge to achieve complete carbon neutrality by 2050.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,868,160 tonnes in the first nine months of 2021, up by 18% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,138,510 tonnes in the first nine months of 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.
Eni, abbreviation of Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi, in full Eni SpA, Italian energy company operating primarily in petroleum, natural gas, and petrochemicals. Established in 1953, it is one of Europe's largest oil companies in terms of sales.