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Eni signs agreement with Consorzio Italiano Biogas to promote biomethane

In Italy, national oil and gas major Eni S.p.A. and Consorzio Italiano Biogas (CIB) have signed an agreement to promote the production of biomethane from animal waste, agro-industrial by-products and dedicated winter crops for use in the transport sector. Through commercial and industrial collaboration with the Consortium’s member companies, Eni will distribute biomethane from its service stations.

Good news for Italian farmers and biogas plant operators as the European Commission approves the Italian support scheme for supporting the production and distribution of advanced biofuels and biomethane for use in the transport sector.

According to a statement, the agreement was signed March 29, 2019, at Eni’s Sannazzaro de’ Burgondi Refinery in the Province of Pavia by Giuseppe Ricci, Eni Chief Refining & Marketing Officer, and Piero Gattoni, President of Consorzio Italiano Biogas (CIB), with the Italian Minister of Agricultural, Food, Forestry, and Tourism Policies Gian Marco Centinaio Gian Marco Centinaio.

The agreement also involves new opportunities for CIB member companies by launching business initiatives which will be developed in partnership. A task force will be established and will meet periodically to assess and define the most efficient and appropriate opportunities for collaboration.

The biogas and biomethane sector is a fundamental reality in Italian agriculture, which requires investment focusing on technology and research. The agreement between Consorzio Italiano Biogas and Eni can be seen as a tangible effort towards innovation and to protect the environment. A major challenge heading towards the future and cleaner, greener energy can start from agriculture, a primary sector of our economy, stated senator Gian Marco Centinaio, Italian Minister of Agricultural, Food, Forestry, and Tourism Policies.

200 million Nm3 biomethane target

According to Eni, the agreement is a central component in Eni’s efforts to promote the principles of the circular economy in energy production. Part of the agreement is in-depth examination with the members of commercial and industrial initiatives that starts from biogas already being produced and currently used to generate electricity and thermal energy, being upgraded so that it can be used as a fuel for road transport, in the form of compressed biogas (CBG) or liquefied biogas (LBG).

Eni is targeting the collection of around 200 million Nm3 of biomethane, which can be produced by CIB members, through the consolidation of methane generated and produced in agricultural and livestock farming processes.

Through this agreement, Eni is taking another important step in applying the principles of the circular economy to energy production, a strategic element in the transition towards decarbonized and increasingly sustainable energy. This path has seen the company implement major projects  like the world’s first conversion of a traditional refinery into a biorefinery and the implementation of waste-to-fuel technology, using organic municipal waste to create oil to be used in the production of biofuel for maritime transport, said Giuseppe Ricci, Chief Refining & Marketing Officer for Eni.

Biomethane is a useful energy resource which is able to contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other contaminants, as well as being a factor in the economic and industrial development of land through effective use of the supply chains of the agricultural and agri-food sectors.

Agro-energy sources represent an essential supplement to the income of agricultural businesses. Focusing on advanced biofuel production in this way is an important sign of attention towards a sector that has invested more than EUR 4 billion and created 12 000 jobs in the last four years.

This agreement promotes the refinement of biogas into biomethane in complete collaboration and fully integrated with the many agricultural and livestock companies in CIB. For Eni, it represents another step forward in the production of advanced biofuels and aligns with the transformation of the Venice and Gela biorefineries.

The joint agreement with Eni demonstrates how biomethane, a particularly flexible molecule, is destined for an important role in the current energy transition. Thanks to the work of the Consortium to promote the integration of biogas with agriculture in these years, it has been possible to undertake this profitable exchange and aim towards the ambitious target of distributing no fewer than 200 million Nm3 advanced biomethane, sustainably produced by Italian agricultural companies, by 2022, stated Piero Gattoni, President of CIB.

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