A new energy for the Africa of today and tomorrow

The energy transition will depend greatly on the contribution of biofuels, which will have a key role to play in meeting the decarbonisation goals of our products in the mobility sector.

Biofuels and the goal of Net Zero by 2050

Eni is committed to decarbonising all of its products and processes in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, in line with the international goals established by the Paris Agreement. This strategy also includes expanding the business of vegetable oil to be converted into biofuels which, used as alternatives to traditional fuels, are one of the keys to the energy transition in the transport sector.

Biofuels are fuels for transport produced from biogenic raw materials, such as organic waste, like cooking oils, animal fat and residue from the agro-food industry and oils extracted from oilseeds. To ensure an increasingly sustainable supply for our bio-refineries, we have launched an agri-feedstock project. We are collaborating with farmers to develop crops on degraded, semi-arid or abandoned land not in competition with food production and with forest resources in some African countries. Agri-feedstocks are then processed in our "agri-hubs" (the first one is already in operation in Kenya) to produce vegetable oil to be used in our bio-refineries to contribute to the production of HVO biofuels.

Eni aims to expand its bio-refining capacity from the current 1.1 million tonnes to 3 million tonnes by 2025 and vegetable oil production to around 700,000 tonnes in 2026, before exceeding 1 million tonnes in the following years.


The role of agri-hubs in the projects launched in Africa

Africa has a key role to play in this area. Eni launched several projects at the start of 2021, from the building of agri-hubs to the collection of UCO (Used Cooking Oil) and Waste&Residue in general.

According to the Eni model for the vertical integration of these initiatives, the agricultural production phase is left entirely to local farmers while Eni builds and manages the industrial aggregation and transformation plants, the agri-hubs, i.e. oilseed processing centres for the extraction of vegetable oil. These “hubs” also offer services to farmers: access to mechanisation, distribution of agricultural input (seeds and fertilisers), training and technical assistance, in order to reduce risk and maximise the farming benefits for the entire region. As part of the model, the by-products of the processing of biomass are also used and transformed - according to their characteristics - into agricultural feed or fertilisers for the land, helping to improve agricultural production in general and the regeneration of the soil, also through the adoption of virtuous farming practices, and therefore also the promotion of food security in the regions.


Our initiatives on the African continent

In Kenya, the agricultural development project is at an advanced state: Kenya was the first African country to develop a vertical bio-refinery supply chain, offering income opportunities and market access to tens of thousands of farmers.

In addition to Kenya, in 2022 Eni launched a series of initiatives with various countries on the African continent, including Congo, Angola, Mozambique and Côte d'Ivoire, for the production of vegetable oil to be sent to our biorefineries. In Rwanda and Italy activities for the trial of oil crops have been launched.

Around 700,000 farmers are expected to be involved in the farming activities by 2026.


Our history in Africa

The continent where we took our first steps. A bond that is still going strong today, more than 50 years later.

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Eni and IRENA for decarbonization in Africa

Eni and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will co-operate to facilitate dialogue and the sharing of experiences on the acceleration of the energy transition and the development of renewable energies in the countries involved, as well as to identify obstacles to private sector investment in renewable energy in the countries where Eni operates and to promote solutions in coordination with governments. Eni and IRENA will promote the integration of the African continent in the biofuel value chain through institutional capacity building, agribusiness and industrial development initiatives for the production of advanced biofuels, supporting the decarbonisation of the transport sector and contributing to the growth of development opportunities.