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Versalis restarts Italian biomass plant acquired in 2018

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Versalis, an Italian chemical company and subsidiary of Eni, has announced that the biomass plant it acquired in 2018 has been restarted.

Versalis acquired M&G’s bio companies after the firm filed for bankruptcy in Europe and the US in October 2017. The acquisition included the assets and resources related to development activities, industrialisation, technologies licensing and bio-chemical processes based on the use of renewable resources, including biomass, of four companies: Biochemtex, Beta Renewables, Italian Bio Products (Ipb) and Ipb energia.

The acquisition included the Proersa technology, used to convert biomass into second-generation sugars and the production of biofuels. Versalis announced that the biomass plant for renewable electricity generation and part of the water treatment plant with biogas production have resumed operations. It is also working to restart the bioethanol plant in the first half of 2020.

The layout of the bio facilities at Crescentino in the province of Vercelli, Piedmont, allows for a system to completely recycle all water and also makes the site energy independent, through the use of lignin as a feedstock for the plant. Daniele Ferrari, CEO of Versalis, said: “Crescentino is a strategic site that will strengthen Versalis’ competitive position in the renewable chemicals sector, with the aim of developing a totally integrated and sustainable platform, using only residual biomass that does not compete with the food chain.”