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There is a common thread linking agriculture and energy, and linking our transition to that of the African continent. The images presented in the photographic book “Seeds for Energy” show the first stages of a process that began in Venice in 2014 when a traditional refinery was converted into a biorefinery. Today this process opens up to new experiences and opportunities for a fair and inclusive green transition

In particular, in the Republic of Congo and in Kenya we have initiated projects to rehabilitate degraded land, creating new job opportunities and ensuring market access for local communities, using the skills, experience and innovative solutions already applied in Italy. 

The book illustrates the distinctive features of Eni's approach: we cultivate plants that do not compete with the food chain, improving abandoned areas threatened by climate change and other man-made and environmental factors. Under this model, agricultural products flow into agri-hubs, centres for collecting and pressing the seeds produced, from which the extracted oil is then sent to biorefineries. Through vertical integration initiatives, we aim to produce significant quantities of vegetable oil from agri-feedstock in challenging market environments in terms of prices, growing energy demand and availability of sustainable oils. 

With the “seeds” of the new energy, we generate long-term value in cooperation with our industrial partners, governments, local research centres and universities. This is the approach we are following to develop agro-industrial supply chains for the production of raw materials for biorefineries, not only in the countries described in this book, but also in Angola, Mozambique, Benin, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Algeria and Kazakhstan, with the aim of covering 35% of the supply of our biorefineries by 2025.

Download the photobook, Seeds for Energy



Republic of Congo

The project, which started in November 2021, involves the cultivation of agri-feedstock within five large concessions and the involvement of rural communities in the area of interest, with an expected output of 250,000 tonnes per year by 2030. Oil will first be produced from castor-oil plant cultivations and it is expected to be available in 2023. For this purpose, an agri-hub with a capacity of 20,000 tonnes will be built.

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Kenya

The project, which started in December 2021, involves about 25,000 local farming families in the production of 200,000 tonnes per year of agri-feedstock by 2026, starting with the cultivation of castor beans, the harvesting of croton and the development of co-products of the local cotton industry, for which an output of 30,000 tonnes per year is expected in 2023.

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Italy

At the end of 2021, Eni and Gruppo Bonifiche Ferraresi created a joint venture to promote and expand Eni's agri-feedstock initiatives worldwide. The first projects have been launched in Sardinia in cooperation with Italian universities. They involve screening and selecting seeds for agri-feedstock production from about 30 different varieties of oilseed plants in a 15-hectare area.

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