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Syndial and Veritas plan to build organic waste plant in Porto Marghera

In Italy, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Syndial – Eni’s environmental company and Veritas, the multi-utility of the Metropolitan City of Venice. The agreement is to create a "Waste to fuel" industrial prototype that will transform up to 150 000 tonnes of municipal organic waste, converting it into bio-oil and biomethane.

Opened in May 2014, Eni’s oil refinery in Venice is the first to be converted to a biorefinery (photo courtesy Eni).

The agreement, promoted by the Mayor of Venice and the Metropolitan City, Luigi Brugnaro, was signed on March 1, 2019, by Vincenzo Maria Larocca, CEO of Syndial, Eni’s environmental company, and by Andrea Razzini, General Manager of Veritas, a multi-utility that carries out the collection, value extraction and treatment of waste in the Venetian territory.

The agreement outlines that the parties share technical and governance assessments for the management and construction of the plant. Specifically, Veritas should provide at least 100 000 tonnes of municipal organic waste and other humid waste fractions from the separate waste collection scheme of the Venice metropolitan area and the referral market.

Second waste-to-fuel pilot

Syndial, Eni’s center for the environment and waste management, in addition to providing a reclaimed area of property, will build and manage the industrial plant that will apply Eni’s proprietary “Waste to fuel” technology, the result of research carried out in the Eni Center for Renewable Energies and the Environment located in Novara.

Last December, Syndial launched the first “Waste to Fuel” pilot plant in Gela, Sicily, quickly replicating a process that nature performs in millions of years with a low environmental impact. Moreover, the water that is generated through its production will be used for industrial and irrigation uses.

The wet waste is harnessed through the production of bio-oil and biomethane as well as through recovering and treating its water content, which makes up 70 percent of the total. The bio-oil can be used directly as a sulphur-free fuel for naval vessels or subjected to additional refining for the production of biofuels for transport.

Venice to become a circular economy showcase

For the project’s realization, subject to the obtainment of the necessary permits, Syndial and Veritas estimate an investment of around EUR 60 million. The plant will be able to process up to 150 000 tonnes per annum of organic waste and could employ at least 40 staff once fully operational.

With this agreement, Eni takes a further step forward in its strategic path in applying circular economy principles to its business. It is in Porto Marghera that the company put in place the world’s first conversion of a traditional refinery into a biorefinery, which has been operational since 2014, as well as signing agreements with the City of Venice and with Veritas to develop further circular economy projects.

Furthermore, Eni intends to contribute to enhancing the excellence of Venice, both as a Municipality and as a Province, by launching a project to classify separate waste collection on a national level, as confirmed in the last “Urban Waste Report” elaborated by Ispra, the Istituto Superiore for Environmental Protection and Research.

Venice has made the circular economy one of its key strengths and it is certainly not by chance that the city together with all its residents has been recognized on a national level as a leader in separate waste collection. We have demonstrated how new alternative energy sources can be generated: nothing is wasted and new wealth is generated from waste. What today may seem to be a costly problem, will be transformed tomorrow into a valuable advantage, as indicated in the Metropolitan Strategic Plan approved unanimously last December. Venice seeks to be a worldwide testament to how a big city, with thousands of inhabitants and millions of visitors, can also develop an innovative system, from a scientific and technological point of view, with an increasingly green and eco-friendly mentality, moving the economy and above all generating employment, commented Luigi Brugnaro, Mayor of the City and Province of Venice.

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