Eni has commenced the production of alternative sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) that will significantly contribute to the decarbonization of aviation in the near to medium term.
Typically, sustainable aviation fuels are produced exclusively from waste and residues, in accordance with the company’s strategic decision to decline use of palm oil for biodiesel from 2023.
Palm oil is known to be an important driver of the destruction of rain forests and wildlife. According to a study by the EU, biodiesel from palm oil is worse for the climate than regular diesel when indirect emissions are accounted for.
Towards this end, the company plans to double its current bio-refining capacity of 1.1 million tonnes/year within a four-year period and increase it to 5-6 million tonnes/year by 2050.
According to Eni, the anticipated biojet will play a significant role in the product mix, in line with industry scenarios and market trends, with a production capacity target of at least 500 thousand tonnes/year of biojet by 2030.
Claudio Descalzi, the CEO of Eni, commented:
“This is a very important milestone in our journey to decarbonize and fully reflects our pragmatic approach to the energy transition. This approach involves using technology to cut emissions in sectors such as aviation, which are high emitters but at the same time need to be nurtured because they are crucial to growth and development.
“We are committed to being a technological leader in the energy transition, leveraging existing skills and assets, and this is a further step in that direction, as well as an important contribution at system level”.Claudio Descalzi, CEO, Eni
Eni’s SAF Aims at Scaling Production in Near-to-Medium Term
This marks the first step and part of Eni’s commitment to the decarbonization of all of its products and processes by 2050 for all sectors, including some of the most challenging such as the aviation, heavy vehicles and marine sectors.
Based on the Renewable Energy Directive II, the bio share in the product allows for a more than 90 per cent reduction in GHG emissions compared to standard fossil mix feedstock. The SAF, Eni says, will be sold to major airlines thanks to the support of leading airline operators in the sector.
Eni’s sustainable aviation fuel production will continue to grow with the start of production of over 10 thousand tonnes/year of SAF in early 2022, through the distillation of bio-components produced in Eni’s bio-refineries using its own proprietary Ecofining technology.
Also, the raw materials used will be exclusively waste products such as used cooking oil (UCO) or fats. This product, called “Eni Biojet”, contains 100 per cent biogenic component and can be combined with conventional jet fuel in an up to 50 per cent mix.
Growth will continue with the launch, of Eni Biojet production at its refinery in 2024, where a project is already underway. This project is aimed at the introduction of a further 150 thousand tonnes/year of SAF from 100 per cent renewable raw materials, capable of meeting its market potential obligation by 2025.