Eni and Coldiretti sign agreement to cultivate agricultural biogas

Source: press release, 25 January 2019

Eni was the first company to convert a traditional refinery into a biorefinery, transforming organic raw materials into high-quality biofuels
Eni was the first company to convert a traditional refinery into a biorefinery, transforming organic raw materials into high-quality biofuels (photo: Eni)

An alliance has been formed by Eni and Coldiretti to develop the Italian agricultural biomethane supply chain and make mobility more sustainable from a circular economy perspective. Eni and Coldiretti signed the collaboration agreement with the aim of developing an advanced Italian supply chain of biomethane produced from waste for use within the transport sector, leveraging the waste and byproducts that are produced from agriculture and livestock. The memorandum of understanding was signed in Lodi at the Padano Technology Park by the President of Coldiretti, Ettore Prandini, and the Chief Officer of Eni Refining & Marketing, Giuseppe Ricci, in the presence of the Under-secretary to the Presidency of the Council, Guido Guidesi. Eni and Coldiretti announced their goal to create the first supply network of agricultural biomethane “from field to pump”, aiming to produce 8 billion cubic metres of “green” gas by 2030 and helping the environment.

Eni’s Chief Refining & Marketing Officer Giuseppe Ricci says, “We consider our continued initiatives around sustainable mobility as diversifying our offer, particularly through our focus on biofuels that reduce environmental impact, and this is why we have already converted two traditional refineries into bio-refineries where our Eni diesel+ biofuel is produced. For this reason, we are strengthening our network of compressed and liquefied gas service stations, where the replacement of natural gas with biomethane marks another important step towards the decarbonisation of transport. The agreement with Coldiretti will allow for further integration across the entire production chain, representing a great opportunity for integrated sustainable development: not only environmentally, but also from an economic and social standpoint.”

Coldiretti President Ettore Prandini explains, “By leveraging agricultural waste from crops and farms, mini-plants for biomethane can meet up to 12% of gas consumption in Italy. We must shift from a system that produces waste and pollution towards a new circular economy model where production is also carried out by leveraging existing waste, with an evolution that represents a significant part of the efforts to modernise and transform the Italian and European economy, driving it in a more sustainable direction that combines economic development, social inclusion and the environment.”

Biomethane is derived from biogas, a renewable energy source that can be produced and consumed in the form of compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) and can contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as assist in agricultural and agri-food development, sectors that play a strategic role in Italian growth from an economic, employment and renewable energy production perspective.

The collaboration between the parties aims to promote the construction of new biomethane production plants. Coldiretti includes 1.6 million associates and is the largest organisation representing agricultural entrepreneurs at a national and European level. It will deal with the dissemination among its member companies of a management model for agricultural byproducts and waste, allowing them to be used as raw materials in biomethane production.

Eni will focus on its production, transportation and input both in the Italian sales network and in networks dedicated to the same associated companies, as well as offering Coldiretti associates proposals to use alternative fuels with low levels of carbon dioxide emissions for vehicles used in agricultural activities. Experts at Eni and Coldiretti will work to further develop the collaboration, tasked with defining feasibility studies that will aim to identify the various types of associated companies, particularly those that are able to create systems for biomethane production.

The agreement between Eni and Coldiretti is a cornerstone in the evolution of the linear economy system, which starts from matter and ends with waste, towards a circular economy model based on a new paradigm between the environment and economy in which today’s products are tomorrow’s resources.