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Catching CO₂ off the coast of Ravenna

A new challenge for Eni on its path to decarbonization: a vast CO₂ storage site.

by Stefano Bevacqua
13 July 2020
3 min read
by Stefano Bevacqua
13 July 2020
3 min read

Acronyms are not always easily understood, but the acronym CCS has now swept the world. It stands for Carbon Capture and Storage, which means to capture the carbon dioxide (or CO₂) that is inevitably generated by combustion processes, and set it aside instead of allowing it to be released into the atmosphere. And CCS is one of the technologies Eni is going to use to achieve its decarbonization targets. 

Storing carbon dioxide

Recently, Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi has reaffirmed Eni's main aim of eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and by 2050, to have reached an 80% reduction in emissions over the entire life cycle of energy products, including those produced by their users - in other words, to sell exclusively decarbonized products in 2050.

One initiative is crucial in reaching this target and that is the construction of the world's largest carbon dioxide storage site. Where? Under the Adriatic, off the coast of Ravenna, using exhausted natural gas fields. With a storage capacity of between 300 and 500 million tonnes, these underground deposits could make a very significant contribution to the containment of climate-changing gas emissions in Italy. And Ravenna, with its industrial set-up and still operating infrastructure, offers a unique opportunity for CCS, since reusing existing plants and its proximity to emission plants will allow costs to be kept highly competitive. Furthermore, CCS would be of significant value for the possible development of a blue flag supply chain

A host of measures

CO₂ has a history spanning hundreds of millions of years.

But why should we capture CO₂ and store it underground? Wouldn't it be easier not to produce it?

The answer is twofold. Firstly, not even a Michelin star chef can make a recipe with only one ingredient. 

Tackling climate change is an immense challenge and one we have never faced before in over 200,000 years of history. To deal with it, we need every tool available. That of course includes renewable sources, reforestation, the recovery of resources that would otherwise be wasted (through the circular economy), final consumption energy efficiency, sustainable mobility systems and then also CCS itself.  Eni is continuing on its path to decarbonization with the aim of eliminating the CO₂ emissions associated with its activities by 2030. By 2050, in accordance with the targets set by the Paris Agreement, the reduction of total emissions calculated on the entire life cycle of the energy product that it puts on the market will reach 80%. Again by 2050, Eni's installed renewable electricity capacity will exceed 55 GW, while its forestation and CCS projects will contribute to the fight against climate change by eliminating over 40 million tonnes of CO₂ per year.

Secondly, the company's development, which is expected to involve European Innovation Fund support, will have a significant impact on technology and skills. 

This will help us to develop a new entirely made in Italy industrial supply chain, with advantageous terms and able to compete on world markets.