Biorefineries play a central role in Eni's evolution because they contribute to achieving our main goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils (HVO) we produce from feedstocks that do not compete directly with food and feed crops, such as waste and agricultural residues, are key to contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector.
When added to diesel, HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) yields Eni Diesel +, Eni's premium fuel. The biofuel composed of 100% pure HVO is called HVOlution and is Eni Sustainable Mobility’s first diesel fuel produced from 100% renewable raw materials (pursuant to Directive (EU) 2018/2001 "REDII"), waste raw materials and vegetable residue and from oils generated from crops that do not compete with the food chain. Since February 2023 it has been sold in 50 Eni petrol stations and will be available by March 2023 in 150 sales points in Italy. Before being sold at Eni petrol stations, pure HVO biofuel was already in use in various contexts, from the handling of passengers with reduced mobility in airports to logistics. It was also tested on buses, trucks and trains with excellent results. Therefore, for heavy transport biofuel is among the solutions of immediate application for commercial vehicles because it can be used immediately with the current infrastructure and engines, without impacting on the costs of adapting logistics, infrastructure and vehicles.
Biorefineries are also the result of our ongoing commitment to research and technological innovation. Thanks to the development of proprietary technologies patented in our Research Centres, we have completely reorganised the traditional refineries in Venice and Gela, converting them to process raw materials of biological origin (vegetable oils, but also animal fats and used cooking oils) and making increasing use of waste and residue feedstocks.
Moreover, our refineries are palm oil free. As of October 2022, Eni has stopped to import palm oil for its Gela and Venice refineries ahead of the deadline set by European regulations for 2023. In its place, the processing of waste and residue feedstocks (e.g. used cooking and frying oils, animal fats and vegetable oil processing waste) and advanced feedstocks (e.g. waste oils as well as bio-oils from lignocellulosic waste), as described above, has been maximised, in addition to those from our agri-hubs, which have already begun to arrive.
During the course of 2022, Eni intensified its commitment to developing new decarbonized products and services, also by creating satellite companies such as Plenitude, Vår Energi, Azule (a joint venture with BP in Angola) and by listing Energy One; it integrated bio-refineries, petrol stations and car sharing activities into a single entity dedicated to sustainable mobility, called Eni Sustainable Mobility. As confirmed in the Strategic Plan 2023-2026, we expect to achieve a bio-refining capacity of over 3 MTPA by 2025 and over 5 MTPA by 2030.
Moreover, a feasibility study on a third biorefinery in the industrial area in Livorno is currently underway. This maximises the synergies with the infrastructure that is already available and ensuring a productive future for the site with ample employment opportunities. The project involves building a line for the production of hydrogenated biofuel: a biogenic feedstock pre-treatment unit, a 500,000 tonne/year Ecofining™ plant and a plant for the production of hydrogen from methane gas.
In December 2022, Eni, together with Euglena and PETRONAS, announced the launch of a technical and economic feasibility study for the development and operation of a bio-refinery in one of the largest petrochemical areas in South-East Asia, the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC). If the study is successful, it is expected that the plant could be operational by 2025 with Ecofining™ technology and with a flexible configuration capable of maximising the production of SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) for air transport and HVO for road, rail and sea transport. The bio-refinery is also expected to have the capability to process approximately 650,000 tonnes/year and produce up to 12,500 barrels of biofuel (SAF, HVO and bio-naphtha) per day.
In February 2023, Eni Sustainable Mobility and PBF Energy announced an equal partnership in the USA for the St. Bernard bio-refinery currently under construction in Louisiana. This strategic partnership, combining the experience and skills of the two companies, reflects both partners' commitment to providing more sustainable fuels using low-carbon raw materials. In particular, Eni Sustainable Mobility provides its global expertise in sourcing more sustainable raw materials for HVO and PBF brings experience in large capital project execution and fuels manufacturing as well as access to the California renewables market through its existing logistics assets.