Italian energy major ENI and Kenya’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mining signed on July 21 a Memorandum of Understanding to promote the decarbonization process to tackle climate change through new industrial models of fully-integrated circular economy along the whole bio-fuel production value chain.
According to ENI, the parties will jointly conduct feasibility studies to develop waste and residue collection as well as agricultural projects, with the purpose of establishing a wide range of feedstock sources that do not compete with food cycles, to be transformed into bio-fuels and bio-products that might contribute to feed ENI’s bio-refineries in Gela and Venice, Italy. The parties will also assess the opportunity of converting Mombasa refinery into a bio-refinery, as well as the construction of a new plant for second-generation bio-ethanol from waste biomass, leveraging on ENI technologies Ecofining e Proesa.
The agricultural development project focuses on the development of sustainable oil crop cultivations – namely, low ILUC (indirect land use change) feedstock such as cover crops, castor in degraded lands, croton trees in agro-forestry systems and other agro-industrial co-products, ENI said.
The waste and residue collection would be focused to promote and implement a collection system for used cooked oil (UCO) and of other agro-processing residues.
According to the Italian energy company, this initiative will contribute to diversifying Kenya’s energy mix and supporting the overall decarbonization process, while also decreasing the Country’s dependence from imports of petroleum products. Other expected benefits include developing sustainable agricultural activities and circular economy, producing power from renewable sources, fostering the economic competitiveness of the local industry and creating new jobs.
The agreement contributes to the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The projects also contribute to the implementation of the Kenya Bioenergy Strategy, Updated Nationally Determined Contribution, Kenya’s National Development Plans, including Kenya Vision 2030. Also, the initiatives are in line with ENI’s commitment to play a pivotal role in the decarbonization process and with the Company’s target to become palm-oil free by 2023 and to double bio-refineries capacity to around 2 million tons by 2024.
ENI has been present in Kenya since 2013 through its subsidiary ENI Kenya.