Eni and ENEA researching fusion together

Source: press release, 2 May 2019

photo: Eni
photo: Eni

Federico Testa, President of the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), and Claudio Descalzi, Eni CEO, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) setting the stage for collaborative research into magnetic confinement fusion. Specifically, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) sets out the possibility of creating a company in order to work together on the Divertor Tokamak Test (DTT) in order to produce clean, safe, sustainable energy using the mechanism that lights up the stars. The DTT is the science and technology project under way at ENEA’s centre in Frascati. It is a new experimental machine for testing different solutions and providing scientific and technological responses to certain issues in the fusion process, such as managing very high temperatures.

The MoU also requires the parties to jointly develop a strategy to carry out the DTT project, and to do a joint assessment of how best to structure the new company.

Eni’s CEO has states, “Eni is proud to work on scientific matters with leading public and private research bodies like ENEA, which represents Italy’s excellence in this sphere. This agreement further strengthens our commitment to the development of innovative technologies, a key point of Eni’s decarbonisation strategy for a more sustainable future. The agreement confirms Eni’s commitment to and interest in the challenging field of magnetic confinement fusion, which began a year ago with its investment in the start-up Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) and collaborations with the MIT in the USA. More recently, Eni signed an agreement with the Italian National Research Council to create a joint research centre in Gela. We will contribute to this hugely important initiative with our industrial, technical and commercial expertise.”

“ENEA is recognised as an international leader in the field of fusion thanks to the excellence of our researchers, equipment and cutting-edge technological laboratories,” states President Testa, adding that the DTT project has already been fully financed and is putting Italy on the front line of research. It will also create 1,500 jobs and bring in over EUR 2 billion. “ENEA has gained an outstanding level of expertise in managing complex projects at Italian, European and worldwide levels, providing tests, studies and assessments aimed at increasing quality in products, services and processes. In doing so, it prioritises sustainability and optimises productivity and competitiveness. This partnership with Eni is a confirmation of all that.”

The fusion agreement follows the memorandum of understanding signed in July 2018 to outline areas of common interest for joint development of innovative technological solutions.