Eni plans to convert its Venice (Italy) Refinery into a biorefinery producing innovative and high quality biofuels. The project involves an estimated investment of approximately €100 million (US$130 million), and is the first in the world to convert a conventional refinery into bio-refinery. The new biorefinery is based on Ecofining technology developed and patented by Eni. (Earlier post.)
The Ecofining process uses catalytic hydroprocessing technology to convert vegetable oils to a renewable diesel fuel.
The Venice refinery has a balanced refining capacity of 80 kbbl/d. Besides its primary distillation plants, this refinery contains a two-stage thermal conversion plant (visbreaking/thermal cracking) designed to increase yields of valuable products.
The Green Refinery process will start with an initial conversion of existing facilities which will be launched in the second quarter of 2013 and completed by the end of that year. Until the start of the changeover, the refinery will continue to produce using to traditional methods. Biofuel production will start from 1 January 2014 and will grow progressively as the new facilities enter into operation. The new facilities to be built under the project will be completed in the first half of 2015.
The new green plant will maintain the Venice site in an economically sustainable industrial operation over the long term, with low environmental impact, according to Eni.
The activities of the Green Refinery will be associated with the construction of a new Logistics Centre.
The project will allow for the use of a reasonable proportion of staff employed in the existing refinery. The staff will be managed with methods and tools that will be shared with the trade unions. The investment program and the activities on the industrial production site will also allow Eni to maintain significant use of all the individual business activities related to the Refinery.