Eni has started work on applying eni slurry technology (EST) at its Sannazzaro de' Burgondi refinery, near Pavia, Italy, for the conversion of heavy oil residues in fine products, gasoline and gasoil.

The EST technology is funded by Eni with over EUR 1.1bn.

The EST technology can produce gasoline and gasoil without generating coke or fuel oil, and is based upon a hydro-conversion process developed through a special catalyst and a current of hydrogen self-produced starting from methane.

EST also allows the transformation of methane in a high quality liquid fuel through hydrogen production.

The EST technology will enable Sannazzaro plant to become a zero fuel oil refinery.

The project is expected to be complete by end of 2012.