Almost 40% of the energy consumption end product in the world depends on the industry which, even today, mainly uses i fossil fuels to feed, especially the carbone. For this reason, according to theInternational Energy Agency (IEA), industry is the second most polluting sector on the planet, right after energy production. Combustion gases from industrial activities also contain CO2 which is released into the atmosphere. This happens especially in the so-called “hard-to-abbot” industrial sectors, i.e. those with greater carbon intensity or those in which it is difficult to avoid emissions, such as refineries, cement factories, steel mills, chemical plants or paper mills.
With the Ccus technologies (Carbon capture use and storage) it is possible to reduce the emission of CO2 into the air, “capturing” it in the plants where it is produced. After capture, CO2 can be converted into raw material for the production of products such as fuels, chemicals or construction materials (Ccu, Carbon capture and utilisation) or permanently confined in deep underground formations suitable to host it for indefinite times ( CCS, carbon capture and storage).
While many believe that the diffusion of CCS technologies would allow countries to effectively decarbonise their economies, the diffusion of these technologies on a large scale has been very limited in the past. In essence, they are being tested or even used but are not yet available for large-scale commercial use. According to the latest data available from the International Energy Agency (IEA), there are 35 commercial CCS plants, with a capacity to capture 45 million tons of CO2 per year. However, a search of the Global CcS Institute indicates that global CCS will need to grow more than 100-fold by 2050 if the climate goals of the Paris Agreement are to be met. This would involve building 70-100 plants per year. An achievable goal, points out the special report of the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), only if the States implement common policies capable of satisfying the climatic needs but also those of the actors involved. Possible measures include: allocating more resources to research and development, implementing carbon pricing policies, creating clean energy standards and providing subsidies that can be accessed by industries using CCS technologies.
Right now, many countries are planning strategies to make large-scale CO2 storage, in some cases with large projects such as the HyNet North West under development in United Kingdomin which Eni is the lead company, which envisages the transformation of one of the most energy-intensive industrial districts in the country, in the Liverpool Bay area, into the first low-lying industrial cluster Ghg emissions in the world. Or it Sleipner CO2 Storage Site in Norwayproject in which Eni is a partner and which, since it started operations in 1996, has already stored around 16 million tons of carbon dioxide in complete safety.
Outside Europe Eni is developing projects of Ccs in United Arab Emirates (Gasha) yes in Libya (Bahr Essalam) and aims to activate others also in Egypt e in Australia. Also in Italia the company is developing a project, currently the only one with a true industrial vocation at a national level, off the coast of Romagna where the presence of depleted gas fields and abandoned assets in theoffshore of Ravenna will make it possible to create a hub, the first in Mediterranean and one of the largest in the world, for storing CO2 from mainland production activities. Of the 4 million tonnes/year of CO2 that the Ravenna CCUS hub will be able to capture in 2027, three will come from third-party industrial emitters in the area, including cement, steel and chemical industries. In June ’22, a memorandum of understanding was signed in Ravenna with 6 local industries to develop the first CCUS project in the area. In 2023, phase 1 of the CCS Ravenna Hub project with the aim of sequestering 25,000 tons of CO2, while phase 2 will start in 2027 and foresees the storage of 4 million tons of CO2 per year (Mtpa). Of these, 3 will come from third-party industrial emitters in the area, such as cement factories, steel mills, chemical industries, etc.
Overall, the industrial plan of Eni in the CCS it aims to reach a total storage of about 10 million tons of CO2 per year (Mtpa) in 2030 and a total gross capacity of 30 Mtpa, to then reach a storage of about 35 Mtpa in 2040 and about 50 Mtpa in 2050. All Eni’s CCS projects are followed by the San Donato Milanese Research Center and the Renewable Energy and Environment Research Centre.
Progetto HyNet North West
Eni continues the progetto HyNet North West which when fully operational will transform one of the most energy-intensive industrial districts of the United Kingdomin the area of the Liverpool Bayin the world‘s first low-GHG emission industrial cluster, creating 75,000 local jobs by 2035.
According to plans, storage operations are expected to start in 2025 and the initial capacity will be 4.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year (Mtpa), with scope to expand to 10 Mtpa by 2030. Technically, the emissions will come from industries in the north-west of theEngland and of the north of the Wales, captured directly at the chimneys and transported to the depleted deposits. In addition to the CCS, an important low-carbon production site will also be built. As of March 2021 the project has received a £33m pledge of funding from the Uk Research and Innovation (Ukri), through its own fund Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (Idc). The funding covers approximately 50% of the investment needed to complete the ongoing engineering studies. Subsequently, the project won a tender launched by the British government for the “Cluster Sequencing for Carbon Capture Usage and Storage Deployment: Phase 1”the procedure with which, in two tranches with different start-up times, one by 2025 (Track 1 projects), and one by 2027 (Track 2 projects), the non-repayable resources of the Carbon Capture Storage Infrastructure Fund are assigned ( CCFI), equal to £1 billion, to support 4 CO2 capture and storage projects for a total capacity of 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030.
This is part of the wider £12bn investment program under the “Ten Point Plan” presented by the government in November 2020 with the aim of guiding the country towards the energy transition and promoting the “green industrial revolution” by focusing, in addition to the CCS, also on other technologies such as offshore wind, blue and green hydrogen, nuclear power, electric mobility and energy efficiency of homes.
Meanwhile, the ‘six-legged dog’, through the local subsidiary Eni UKparent company of HyNet North West, has taken steps forward for the country’s decarbonisation process by signing a total of 19 Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) since the beginning of the year, 6 in January alone, with companies interested in capturing, transporting and storing the CO2 emitted by their plants in the fields sold out in Liverpool Bay. Furthermore, Eni UK has recently signed further agreements with Cory, Uniper and the Cavendis Projecth to evaluate further storage solutions to decarbonise other UK industrial districts.
Eni and Air Liquide agreement
The six-legged dog moves within a plurality of lines of action. There Eni’s first hydrogen refueling station in Italyin an urban area and open to the public, was inaugurated in June a Teacher (Venice). The plant is equipped with two dispensing points, with a capacity of over 100 kg/day, which can load cars and buses in about 5 minutes. The second station will be built in San Donato Milanese.
They are the first two pieces of the integrated plan that the company, led by Claudio Descalzi, is taking forward to support hydrogen mobility as one of the solutions to decarbonise the transport sector. Plan that accelerated at the end of November thanks to the partnership close by Eni con Liquid air to evaluate new decarbonisation solutions, focused on hard-to-abate industrial sectors, in the Mediterranean region of Europe. At the heart of the agreement is CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS).
In particular, Liquid air will develop competitive solutions to abate CO2, leveraging its ongoing initiatives in Northern Europe and its CryocapTM technology capable of capturing up to 95% of CO2 emissions from industrial plants. Eni will identify the most suitable permanent CO2 storage sites in the Mediterranean Sea.
“The agreement with Air Liquide is a further step forward in promoting sustainable mobility. The decarbonisation of transport must make use of the synergy and complementarity of available technologies. This is why Eni has launched activities ranging from upgrading the power systems of electric vehicles to the production of biofuels, from the distribution of biomethane to that of hydrogen, which is among the products useful for reducing emissions on which we intend to accelerate”, he said. stated Giuseppe Ricci, general manager of Energy Evolution of Eni.
“Decarbonising the transport sector is a major challenge of the energy transition. The implementation of a network of hydrogen fueling stations is a key milestone along this journey. The alliance between a hydrogen leader and a globally operating integrated energy company like Eni will pave the way for expanded access to hydrogen in Italy. Together with Eni, our long-standing partner, we have the ambition to contribute to a more sustainable future through the use of hydrogen”, declared Pascal Vinet, senior vice president of Air Liquide and member of the Air Liquide Group Executive Committee.