The Refining and Marketing sector includes conventional refining and bio-refining: the latter is such a strategic business for Eni that we plan to double our bio-refining capacity by 2025 and then gradually increase it to five times over the next decade. This progression will be coupled with an increasing input of raw material from waste and scrap and an integrated agro-feedstock production chain that does not compete with food production.
The role of bio-refineries
From 2023 onwards, bio-refineries will be palm oil free in line with legal obligations and will be powered predominantly by waste and residues. During the course of the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, processing capacity will increase from the current 1.1 million tonnes per annum (Mton/a) to 2 Mton/a due to the expansion of the Venice plant and the conversion of another conventional refinery. We plan to increase it to 6 Mton/a by 2035. This new impetus to the refining sector starts from Italy, from our biorefineries in Venice and Gela, the result of our concrete and constant commitment to research and technological innovation. In order to boost the spread of our high-quality biofuels, we have also set ourselves the goal of bringing together our biorefining and marketing activities into an entity dedicated to sustainable mobility, uniquely positioned as a customer-focused multi-energy and multi-service business.
Agro-feedstock for vertical integration
Also in the area of bio-refining, in 2021 we launched a series of joint initiatives in African countries for the development of a high-quality biofuel supply chain. Following the circular economy model, the agreements cover biofuels produced from feedstocks that do not compete directly with food cycles, such as agricultural processing residues, crops not intended for food or fodder production, and cover crops alternating with crops. In order to foster the development of the sector, the activation of agro-hubs capable of vertically integrating on-site feedstock production and processing is promoted. The first goal is to provide raw material for Eni's bio-refining system in Italy; in the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan we set ourselves the target of covering 35% of supply in this way by 2025. A further aim of the agro-hub agreements is to promote the conversion of refineries into bio-refineries directly in Africa. Kenya has become a key country in this context. As part of its decarbonisation strategy, the Kenyan government in collaboration with Eni is planning to convert a refinery in Mombasa into a bio-refinery and build a second-generation bioethanol plant from waste biomass.
Bio-refineries: the latest results and the new targets
We aim to double the total installed capacity of bio-refineries by 2025 and increase it fivefold by 2035.
bio-refining capacity in 2021
bio-refining capacity in 2025
bio-refining capacity in 2035
bio-refining capacity in 2050
Conventional refineries in Italy and in the rest of the world
In Italy, traditional refineries operate in Sannazzaro (in the province of Pavia), Livorno, Taranto and in Milazzo in an equal-share joint venture between Eni and Kuwait Petroleum Italia. Outside Italy, through ADNOC Refining, where we hold a 20% stake, we operate the Ruwais plants in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, the fourth largest in the world in terms of capacity and capable of ensuring a high conversion rate thanks to the use of state-of-the-art technology. Through our expertise, we are supporting the technological development of three refineries located in the Ruwais and Abu Dhabi areas and operated by ADNOC Refining. The operation is one of the most significant ever undertaken in the refining sector, allowing Eni to obtain a 35% increase in terms of refining capacity and a breakeven margin of $1.5/barrel in the long term.
SAF: integration between conventional refineries and bio-refineries
Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) are alternative fuels from bio-based raw materials. The production we started in October 2021 is an example of how refineries can integrate production to maximise value creation. In the preliminary phase, the Taranto refinery, which is already co-fired with a 0.5 % share of used vegetable oils (UCOs) was involved. Both bio-refineries and refineries will be involved in a second phase. The component from renewable raw materials, if derived from UCO, allows for a reduction of greenhouse gases of potentially more than 90% compared to the same amount from fossil raw materials (fossil reference mix), according to the European Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II). Considered as one of the main ways to significantly contribute to the decarbonisation of air travel in the short to medium term, Sustainable Aviation Fuels are promoted by various initiatives such as the 2019 European Green Deal, Cop 26, the proposed Refuel EU aviation regulation, part of the “Fit for 55” package, and also by the “SAF Grand Challenge” Memorandum of Understanding in the US.
Oil from end-of-life tyres
In our plants in Italy we are also working on a further line of development in the field of advanced fuels produced from waste, namely the possibility of obtaining pyrolysis oil from the processing of end-of-life tyres (ELTs). This particular area is the subject of an agreement with Ecopneus signed in July 2021 and aimed at assessing the most suitable technologies to process ELTs and obtain both energy products (pyrolysis oil) and chemical products (asphalt, sports surfaces, acoustic insulation, street furniture, etc.) in a perspective of circular economy and environmental sustainability. The agreement strengthens our collaboration with Ecopneus, already an Eni partner in a project in Massafra (in the province of Taranto) for the laying of asphalt modified with polymers and rubber powder from ELTs, which was carried out in June 2020 thanks to an agreement with the Municipality of Massafra. Specifically, in this initiative Eni supplied the bitumen produced in its Taranto refinery and Ecopneus provided its technical know-how, while Irigom, a partner company of Ecopneus, supplied rubber powder from used tyres produced locally.
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