LG Chem and Enilive, a 100% subsidiary of Eni, have signed a joint venture (JV) agreement to advance the development of their new biorefinery project in South Korea.

In September 2023, Enilive and LG Chem revealed their plans on the development and operation of a new biorefinery within the latter’s integrated petrochemical complex in Daesan, South Korea.

LG Chem’s Daesan chemical complex is situated 80km southwest of Seoul.

The goal of the parties is to begin operations at the biorefinery by 2026, which is expected to process around 400,000 tons of renewable bio-feedstocks every year.

LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol said: “This agreement holds significant meaning as it represents the collaboration and joint effort of global leading companies towards the common goal of ‘Net Zero’.

“LG Chem will actively support the successful execution of this project and, moving forward, will solidify its position as a leading company in the eco-friendly plastic industry, achieving sustainable development and carbon neutrality as a true global entity.”

Utilising Eni’s Ecofining technology, the facility is planned to produce a variety of products, including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), and bio-naphtha.

The collaboration will harness the combined expertise of LG Chem and Eni. A final decision on the investment in the biorefinery is anticipated to be made this year.

The facility is designed to integrate seamlessly with LG Chem’s existing value chain and leverage the utilities and facilities already present at the Daesan site.

It is aimed at addressing the increasing demand for sustainable fuels and plastics, emphasising low-carbon production processes. Additionally, it seeks to contribute to the gradual decarbonisation of the energy and mobility sectors, aligning with global sustainability goals.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said: “Biofuel production is one of the main pillars of our strategy to contribute to reach net zero emissions by 2050 also through the sale of increasingly decarbonized products to our clients.

“The biorefinery project we are working on together with LG Chem is a key element to expand Enilive biorefining presence internationally, to raise its capacity from current 1.65 million tons/year to over five million tons/year by 2030 and to increase the optionality of SAF production to up to two million tons/year from 2030.”