PBF will contribute its industrial know-how to the facility and will also manage the project execution and serve as the operator after the construction is complete, while the biorefinery will use Eni’s Ecofining process

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Eni Sustainable Mobility, PBF enter JV agreement. (Credit: Tasos Mansour on Unsplash)

Eni’s subsidiary Eni Sustainable Mobility and US-based petroleum refineries company PBF Energy have signed an agreement to form a joint venture, dubbed St. Bernard Biorefinery (SBR).

The joint venture will develop the biorefinery that is currently under construction and co-located with PBF’s Chalmette Refinery in Louisiana, US.

Under the terms of the agreement, Eni Sustainable Mobility will contribute a total of $835m in the capital, along with additional milestones payments totalling up to $50m.

The partnership will leverage the experience and expertise of both Eni Sustainable Mobility and PBF, for the development of St. Bernard biorefinery.

PBF will contribute its industrial know-how to the facility and will continue to manage project execution and serve as the operator after the construction is complete.

The biorefinery will also use the Ecofining process, which Eni has developed in partnership with Honeywell UOP, along with Eni’s experience in biorefining.

Eni Sustainable Mobility CEO Stefano Ballista said: “Eni Sustainable Mobility is a pioneer in the biorefining industry, and it is also studying the possible construction of two new biorefineries in Italy and Malaysia.

“We do believe the role of HVO will strongly contribute to decarbonization of road transports, including hard to abate heavy-duty sector, as it leverages existing infrastructure and can immediately fuel existing vehicle fleets.

“Biofuels are part of Eni’s strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 through the reduction of the emissions generated during the entire products life cycle.”

The St. Bernard Renewables biorefinery will have the capacity to process about 1.1 million tonnes of raw materials a year, with full pre-treatment capabilities.

It is expected to commence commercial operations in the first half of this year.

The biorefinery will primarily produce Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) Diesel, commonly known as renewable diesel, with a production capacity of 306 million gallons per year.

The joint venture, SBR, will operate as an independent entity with a dedicated team managing feed procurement and product distribution.

PBF president Matthew Lucey said: “We’re excited to enter this strategic partnership with Eni Sustainable Mobility, a global leader in biorefining. The SBR biorefinery will benefit greatly from PBF and Eni’s complementary strengths and expertise.

“The project will utilise existing processing infrastructure and diverse inbound and outbound logistics and is ideally situated to support growing demand for low-carbon fuels.

“Our partnership with Eni signals a major milestone for PBF and demonstrates our commitment to contributing diversified sources of energy to the global mix while lowering the carbon intensity of our operations and the products we manufacture.”