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Another Major Announces Conversion of European Oil Refinery

Italy’s Eni said on Monday it would convert its refinery in Livorno into a biofuels-making facility in a second announcement of an upcoming closure of a European oil refinery in less than a week.  

The Italian energy major confirmed today its decision to build Italy’s third bio-refinery in Livorno. The project was first announced in October 2022 and was followed by an application for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in November 2022.

The plan to make hydrogenated biofuels awaits official authorization and includes the construction of three new facilities for the production of a biogenic feedstock pre-treatment unit, a 500,000 tons/year Ecofining plant, and a facility to produce hydrogen from methane gas.

Currently, Eni produces gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and lubricants at the Livorno site.

The conversion of the refinery into a biofuel refinery would make Livorno Eni’s third such site in Italy after Porto Marghera and Gela.

Eni has stopped importing crude oil and initiated the shutdown of the lubricants production lines and Topping plant at Livorno, in line with its decision to convert the refinery to biofuels. Fuel distribution in the area will be guaranteed through the import of finished and semi-finished products, the Italian major said.

Preparatory work for the construction of the three new bio-refining plants is underway, with construction to commence following regulatory approval. Completion and commissioning are expected by 2026.

Eni’s announcement came days after Shell said on Friday that it plans to convert its oil refinery at the Wesseling site in Germany into a production unit for base oils.

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The shutdown of Eni’s oil refinery in Livorno will be the ninth European refinery closure since 2020, and will take the amount of crude processing capacity lost since then to above 1 million barrels per day (bpd), Ben Winkley at Argus Media commented.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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