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The development of the chemicals sector in Porto Torres

We produce nitrile rubbers with Versalis and we opened Matrìca, an innovative chemicals plant using renewable sources.

Activities with improved environmental sustainability

The Porto Torres (Sardinia) site hosts a nitrile butadiene rubber plant (NBR Europrene® N Elastomers) a one of its kind facility in the production system of Eni's chemicals company Versalis, based on a low temperature aqueous emulsion polymerization process. In particular, nitrile rubbers are used for high added value applications such as technical products, pipes and gaskets for the automotive sector. A new LPG boiler with improved environmental sustainability and a new smokeless flare system have recently been installed. State-of-the-art technologies were used to carry out the activities, which are aimed at guaranteeing maximum system efficiency and increasing the site’s competitiveness. The site also hosts the first bio-run chemicals plant of Matrìca, a joint venture between Versalis (Eni) and Novamont. Through Matrìca, we have launched a major overhauling of the Porto Torres industrial site, which has been transformed into an integrated plant for the production of innovative bioproducts for numerous sectors from plant based raw materials through low environmental impact processes. The platform consists of three production lines for chemical intermediates from renewable sources and a dedicated Research Centre. In Porto Torres, the chemical bio-intermediates derive from vegetable oils and are intended for the production of bio-plastics, bio-lubricants, bio pesticides, personal care products, additives for the rubber/plastic industry and phytosanitary products. 

Finally, in 2021 we signed an agreement between Matrìca, a JV Versalis/Novamont company, and Lanxess, a leader in specialty chemicals for the production of biocides from renewable raw materials. In January 2022, we started the supply of renewable-source raw materials obtained from vegetable oils. Lanxess will use these materials to produce biocidal industrial additives for the consumer goods sector.

Crop protection products from renewable sources

Products from the Porto Torres renewable chemistry platform are also part of the development, as active ingredients, of formulations for crop protection, such as herbicides and biocides for the disinfection of plant-based and biodegradable surfaces. These products, which we have been marketing in Italy since early 2021, are the subject of an agreement between Versalis and AlphaBio, a research and development company specialised in the creation of natural formulations for crop protection, with well known products already on the pesticides market. In particular, in October 2021 we brought Sunpower to the market, a broad-spectrum renewable herbicide that targets annual and perennial weeds in urban and industrial environments.