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ENI and Novamont invest $1 billion in Matrica project

Versalis (ENI) and Novamont innovate with the Porto Torres bio-chemical complex

Matrica Spa is a 50:50 joint venture between Versalis, previously called Polimeri Europa (the biggest Italian chemical company, a subsidiary of Eni), and Novamont (a global market leader in biodegradable plastics).

Matrica has the mission to design, build and operate chemical plants using vegetable oil feedstock for the production of bio-chemicals (bio-plastics, bio-lubricants and bio-additives for elastomers).

$660 million capital expenditure for a bio-based chemical complex

Matrica’s first initiative is to build an innovative bio-based chemical complex in Porto Torres,Sardinia, Italy.

With $660 million (500 million Euro) capital expenditure, the project consists of:

– Seven new plants

– an integrated production chain from vegetable oil to bio-plastics

 – a research center devoted to bio-chemistry

ENI”s target market is the global bio-based chemical sector. According to recent analyst research this sector will grow at 17.7% per year reaching 8.1 million tons in 2015 (Lux Research, September 2010).

Novamont brings to the venture technologies and research and innovation skills in the sector of bio-plastics and bio-based products, whilst Versalis boosts this highly innovative project with its engineering and commercial capabilities in carrying out and managing big petrochemical complexes.

As Oil&Gas and Petrochemical Major, ENI hopes to impact positively on the national chemical industry by bringing to market a virtuous production cycle based on technological innovation and sustainability whilst creating employment in the local area.

A fundamental and innovative element of the project is its integrated supply chain, the raw material to produce the vegetable oil will be grown on site, in synergy with local food production.

$300 million capital expenditure for an associated Power Plant

To complete the project, Eni plans to build a biomass energy plant with further capital expenditure estimated at around $300 million (230 million euros) to provide electrical power generation.

Versalis will convert the Porto Torres production from traditional fossil into bio-based productions: all the traditional chemical plants at the site with the exception of nitrilic rubbers NBR will be shut down, creating an available skilled workforce and facilities for the new project.

When it becomes operative the total number of jobs at the site in Porto Torres will increase by 100, from 582 currently, to 685.

The bio-based chemical complex at Porto Torres will be one of the most important in the sector at a global level – due to its innovative integrated production chain, its size and the massive overall installed capacity of 350,000 t/y bio-products.

ENI ‘s Matrica project in Porto Torres is scheduled for completion in 2015.

For more information and data about oil and gas and petrochemical projects go to Project Smart Explorer

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