Italian JV to Build Biorefinery


Eni and Novamont formed a joint venture to invest 500 million (U.S. $734 million) in new facilities in Italy to produce biobased lubricants and other products.

The companies said they will design, build and manage a new biorefinery at the existing Porto Torres, Italy, petrochemical plant owned by Eni subsidiaries Polimeri Europa and Syndial.

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Novara, Italy-based Novamont will provide technologies for the design, building and operation of the new facilities. Eni, based in Rome, will provide the site, infrastructure and workers.

Under the agreement, Novamonts technologies and renewable raw materials will be used for biobased monomers, lubricants, fillers and intermediates/additives for elastomers and plastics.

The new plant that will be built with Eni will work with high oleic [crops] – and then well develop the use of other oil crops or waste – for which you will derive the pelargonic from sunflower, a Novamont spokesman told Lube Report. We then produce pelargonic acid-based lubricants for high performance, with very low viscosity and excellent properties in cold and in fuel economy.

According to its web site, Novamont produces 60,000 metric tons per year of bioplastics that are biodegradable and compostable. They are based on plant material, such as corn starch, and biodegradable polymers obtained both from renewable raw materials and fossil raw materials. More recent second generation grades arose out of research into raw materials obtained from vegetable oils.

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