Le emissioni ed i cambiamenti climatici

Capture, storage and use of CO₂ (CCUS)

Eni's projects to capture carbon dioxide, store it permanently and use it in innovative ways.

The technology

Eni invests in research and innovation across the entire chain of capture, storage and use of CO2 (Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage - CCUS). Research plays a key role in the development of CCUS projects because new technologies will further reduce supply chain costs.

With regard to CO2 capture, the technological challenge is to develop an alternative to conventional processes based on the use of amine solvents (aqueous solutions of specific amines of different kinds). The technology currently being developed at Eni's laboratories is based on the use of innovative proprietary solvent mixtures containing ionic liquids. The key features of this innovation are: high flexibility in handling different gases containing CO2, high solvent stability, a capture principle that exploits both the chemistry and physical characteristics of CO2 and low toxicity.

Research and technology are also very important for the storage phase (CCS). Thanks to its vast experience in numerical modelling for the development of hydrocarbon fields, Eni applies innovative algorithms for simulation to study the interactions between CO2 and rocks and simulate the best storage solutions over time in relation to the geo-mechanical and geo-chemical characteristics of a reservoir. Such sophisticated approaches are only possible through the use of proprietary software and the computing power of the Eni Green Data Center in Ferrera Erbognone.

Regarding the use of CO2 (CCU), Eni is working on the mineralisation technology, a project at an advanced stage of development based on the reaction between CO2 and certain mineral phases, mainly magnesium and/or calcium silicates. This reaction is the subject of much attention from academia and business because it can permanently fix large amounts of CO2 in the form of inert, stable and non-toxic products. It is a process that occurs spontaneously in nature over geological timescales and it is simply reproduced and accelerated in industrial facilities. The innovation introduced by Eni in this area concerns the choice of a reactor-based solution to accelerate the reaction and the development of pozzolanic properties in the product through a simple post-synthesis treatment. These previously unreported characteristics make the material suitable for use as Supplementary Cementitious Material (SCM) in the formulation of high-standard Portland cements for use in the construction industry.

Eni's CCS projects

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a key lever in Eni’s decarbonization strategy. We aim to achieve a total storage of around 10 million tonnes of CO2 per year (MTPA) in 2030 and a total gross capacity of 30 MTPA, and then increase it to around 35 MTPA in 2040 and around 50 MTPA in 2050. To achieve these goals, we are carrying out a number of  projects in different countries. The strategic ones are:

  • HyNet North West in the UK, in the Liverpool Bay area, with a total storage capacity of 200 million tonnes (MT) of CO2.
  • Ravenna CCS in Italy, with a total storage capacity of 500 MT of CO2 and planned start-up in 2024 (Phase 1) and at the end of 2026 (Phase 2).
  • Bahr Essalam in Libya, with a total storage capacity of 50 MT of CO2 and planned start-up in 2027.

In the UK we also submitted an application in September 2022 for a storage licence for the Bacton and Thames Estuary area to the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA). In Europe we are also a partner in the Sleipner project in Norway, which has already safely stored some 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide since it began operations in 1996. Outside Europe, we are planning to develop CCS projects in Egypt, in Australia and in the United Arab Emirates (Ghasha).


Capturing CO₂ to store it permanently or reuse it in other production cycles is one of the essential actions we need to carry out to reduce its concentration in the atmosphere and limit the increase in the planet’s average temperature to within two degrees Celsius, as required by the Paris Climate Agreements. Above all, CCS is the only immediately available option for reducing emissions in the so-called hard-to-abate sectors such as cement, steel, chemical and paper mills, etc., where a significant proportion of carbon dioxide emissions are linked to the industrial process itself, regardless of the energy source used. To get an idea of the impact of hard-to-abate industries, just consider that in Italy they contribute around 20% of the country's total emissions. As things stand today, there are no alternatives for reducing emissions in these sectors that are readily available, with the exception of CO₂ capture, storage and reuse technologies. This is why CCUS is considered by the International Energy Agency (IEA) as a condition for achieving the Net Zero scenario by 2050. In September 2020, the IEA published a report titled "CCUS in Clean Energy Transitions", where it said that CCS and CCU will be crucial to bring net greenhouse gas emissions to zero and called for more investment in these technologies, which are now considered reliable and safe. Other international organisations that promote CCUS as an essential factor in decarbonization are the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). CCUS Kickstarter, an OGCI project, today has eight international CCS hubs, one of which is the Ravenna CCS project developed by Eni in Ravenna.


(a)  Including CCUS services for third parties


Come catturare e valorizzare la C02

How to capture and valorize CO₂

The benefits for communities and the environment

Although different, what all CCS and CCU technologies have in common is their ability to create opportunities for economic growth and environmental sustainability by reducing CO2 emissions. Thanks to CCS and CCU technologies, CO2 can become the basis to create new production chains, and this is especially true for the energy industry, a sector that possesses the technical and organisational skills to implement these large projects efficiently, quickly and safely

In the UK, through Eni UK, we lead the HyNet North West project in Liverpool Bay, in the Irish Sea, and have launched the new Bacton Thames Net Zero initiative for the decarbonization of the Bacton and Thames Estuary area, on the southern British North Sea.

The HyNet North West project involves transforming one of the most energy-intensive industrial areas of the UK, in the Liverpool Bay area, into the first industrial cluster with low GHG emissions in the world. The initiative is actively supported by the UK Government for its vital contribution to achieving zero net emissions by 2050 and Eni (through Eni UK) is the operator for CO₂ transport and storage activities as well as the leader of a consortium of companies that support the whole project. Storage operations will have an initial capacity of 4.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year (Mton/y), with the possibility of expanding it to 10 Mton/y by 2030. Emissions will come from companies in the North West of England and north Wales, and will be captured directly at chimneys and transported to the depleted fields of Hamilton, North Hamilton and Lennox, which are owned by Eni. In addition to CCS, a major hydrogen production site will also be built. The project has received direct support from the UK Government and in October 2021, was listed as a Track 1 CCUS project in the UK Government's Cluster Sequencing for Carbon Capture Usage and Storage Deployment tender: Phase 1. This success is particularly important for two reasons: because it allows operations to start in the mid-2020s and because it enables Eni UK and the Consortium partners to access the Carbon Capture Storage Infrastructure Fund (CCFI), a public fund that provides £1 billion in grants for the implementation of four CO2 capture and storage projects, totalling around 10 million tonnes per year by 2030. Meanwhile, in February 2022 Eni UK announced that it had signed a total of 19 Memorandums of Understanding with companies interested in capturing, transporting and storing its emissions through HyNet North West.

In September 2022, Eni UK submitted a carbon storage licence application to the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) for the Hewett depleted gas field in the UK's southern North Sea, where the company plans to develop a CCS project with a storage capacity of around 330 million tonnes of CO2 that will contribute to the decarbonization of the Bacton and Thames Estuary area in the South East of the UK. In this case, CCS activities would avoid the release of an amount of CO2 into the atmosphere equivalent to the emissions of more than 3 million homes or 6 million cars per year. To support the project, in November 2022 Eni UK launched the Bacton Thames Net Zero initiative, which is aimed at creating new growth opportunities for the local manufacturing district in the automotive, ceramics, food, materials, energy and waste disposal sectors by decarbonizing industrial processes. The aim is to start the project as early as 2027 with ENI UK again playing a key role by handling the transport and storage of CO2.

With regard to the Ravenna CCS project, a Phase 1 is planned from 2024 and a Phase 2 from 2027. In Phase 1, carbon dioxide will be captured by Eni's natural gas processing plant in Casalborsetti (Ravenna), piped to the Porto Corsini Mare Ovest platform and finally injected into the depleted gas field of the same name in the Ravenna offshore area, also owned by Eni, for a total storage of 25,000 tonnes of CO2. In Phase 2, we plan to store 4 million tonnes of CO2 to contribute to the decarbonization of steel mills, cement factories, ceramic and chemical companies and hard-to-abate sectors in general. The conversion to exclusive and permanent CO₂ storage sites of depleted fields in the Adriatic Sea, which will no longer be producing natural gas, and the reuse of part of the existing infrastructure, will offer a rapid and concrete solution for reducing emissions from the Italian industrial sector at a very competitive cost. This would result in an industrial cluster with low carbon emissions which, as such, could attract new investments and create new jobs in a sector at the forefront of technology. Overall, the planned activities will create new job opportunities, with an estimated total of over 500 new jobs in the first phase of the project alone. The project timeline is progressing and in December 2022 Eni and Snam signed an agreement to establish an equal joint venture for the development and management of Phase 1, which also includes carrying out studies and preparatory activities for subsequent development phases.


The Ravenna CCS Hub project

Eni takes part in the HERCCULES international research project

In February 2023, the HERCCULES international research project was launched. It is supported by Eni and other partners and coordinated by LEAP (Laboratorio Energia e Ambiente Piacenza). The initiative is financed as part of the Horizon Europe framework programme with European funds amounting to approximately thirty million euros. The project’s goal is to develop innovative CO2 capture technologies for the cement and waste-to-energy sectors by building demonstration plants in two cement factories and a waste-to-energy plant located in Northern Italy and Greece and integrating them into a CCUS (Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilisation and Storage) industrial chain. The funding amounts to around thirty million euros, in addition to infrastructure and internal resources worth around ten million euros from Eni and other important academic and industrial partners in the consortium. In particular, Eni provides its expertise and infrastructure to HERCCULES for the Ravenna CCS project, the first carbon dioxide storage project that Eni and Snam are implementing in Ravenna. There are currently around seventy CCUS projects at various stages of development in Europe alone, and they are concentrated almost exclusively in the northern countries. HERCCULES is aimed at accelerating the spread of CCUS also in Mediterranean Europe, leveraging the transport and storage initiatives already being implemented in Italy and Greece, of which the Ravenna CCS Project is certainly the most advanced and important in terms of size.


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