Gela, Europe's most innovative biorefinery is Italian

Energy transition, decarbonization, environmental remediation, local development: our activities in Gela are part of an integrated programme for the promotion of the area which started in 2014 and has grown year after year. The centrepiece of this transformation is the biorefinery, the most advanced in Europe, a plant capable of transforming practically any raw material of biological origin into biofuel.

Italy is at the heart of the evolution through which we are responding to the challenges of the energy transition, for example by converting traditional refineries into biorefineries. Other areas in which we are investing are renewables and new mobility solutions, through Plenitude and Enilive. Versalis, the Eni group's chemical company, is also oriented towards the future, with new products derived from renewable sources and inspired by the circular economy. The dismantling and remediation of former industrial sites also continues through Eni Rewind.

Project features

Activity start date: 1963 - present

Italy

Bioenergy
Bioenergy
Bioraffinery
Bioraffinery
Environmental reclamation
Environmental reclamation
Oil & Gas
Oil & Gas
Renewable
Renewable
Economic diversification
Economic diversification
Education
Education

Enilive

Eni Med

Eni Rewind

Versalis

Eni New Energy

Project development and operation

Biofuels from waste raw materials

The biorefinery in Gela produces quality biofuel (HVO - Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) from raw materials of organic origin. The plant can use second generation (unconventional) feedstocks for up to 100% of its processing capacity and has a high level of operational flexibility. The process is based on our proprietary EcofiningTM technology. Our bio-refinery has been fed mainly with waste raw materials, such as used cooking oil, animal fat and residue from the agro-food industry. Construction of the plant for the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is underway in Gela. The processed bio-components, after distillation, will produce Eni Biojet, a fuel that can be blended with conventional products.  

The development of renewable energy

In Gela we are conducting a number of activities in renewable energy. Through Eni Rewind, we have built a 5 MW photovoltaic plant on the former phosphogypsum landfill site, which has already been made permanently safe. An additional plant with a capacity of about 1 MW was built by Eni New Energy in an area owned by Eni Rewind. In collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston and the Polytechnic University of Milan, we also installed the first Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant in the New Oil Centre in Gela. We are currently investigating how to spread this technology on a large scale, for instance to produce energy for self-consumption at other industrial sites. This project is part of SOLARGRID, an initiative partially funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) that aims to support industrial research and experimental development projects.

Natural gas fields

In Sicily, we operate in hydrocarbon production through Eni Mediterranea Idrocarburi (EniMed). Operations are coordinated by the Gela Headquarters and include four Oil Centres, three offshore platforms and three gas-fired power stations across the region. In line with our strategy of using natural gas as a low-emission energy source, we started a project for the development of the Argo and Cassiopea fields. The extracted gas will be sent to a new treatment and compression plant at the Gela biorefinery and then fed into the national distribution network. In this way we will contribute to the security of supply using the country's own resources. The extraction operations in Gela use the most advanced proprietary monitoring and prevention technologies, so that they can be tested and applied worldwide.

Environmental remediation activities

The former petrochemical plant in Gela is considered a Site of National Priority, i.e., an area requiring special remediation work as a result of operations carried out over decades by several companies. The environmental remediation of the site is the responsibility of Eni Rewind, Eni's environmental company. The programme, which began with emergency safety works, includes the remediation and monitoring of the aquifer, soil remediation and the demolition of plants, warehouses and buildings. Today, thanks to the commitment of Eni and Eni Rewind, Gela represents a virtuous example of environmental regeneration and technological innovation aimed at creating new development opportunities for the area.

Local development initiatives

In Gela we carry out a series of activities aimed at supporting the local community and engaging in dialogue with institutions and with all local stakeholders. Respect for and protection of people and the environment are always at the centre of every project. These are essential conditions for creating long-term value. Two examples are the renovation of the “ex Casa-albergo” in the Macchitella district and the training of a group of students through the Italian government's apprenticeship programme and through Joule, Eni's business school. Together with the Municipality of Gela, Fondazione Banco Alimentare and Banco Alimentare della Sicilia ONLUS, we also signed a collaboration agreement for food safety.

Highlights
1,070
people

working for Eni in Gela, of whom 98% reside in Sicily and 74% in the Municipality of Gela


26,746
hours

staff training in Gela in 2021


-17
kton CO₂eq

reduction of GHG emissions (2021 Vs 2020)


+500
kton

biomass processed in the Gela biorefinery in 2021


1,070
people

working for Eni in Gela, of whom 98% reside in Sicily and 74% in the Municipality of Gela

26,746
hours

staff training in Gela in 2021

-17
kton CO₂eq

reduction of GHG emissions (2021 Vs 2020)

+500
kton

biomass processed in the Gela biorefinery in 2021

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Documentation

Last update: 23 February 2024


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