Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni, intervenes in the great debate on the fate of combustion engines to relaunch the importance of a “technologically neutral” approach that also looks at the benefits of alternatives such as biofuels. In particular, the number one of the Six-Legged Dog drew attention to one of the oil company’s most advanced products: it is HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil), a fuel containing 100% biogenic components. According to Descalzi, it can “be used in euro 5 and euro 6 diesel engines” and is able to reduce emissions “over the entire life of 90%”.
What is the Hvo. Hvo is largely produced from waste raw materials, residues or waste resulting from processes of transformation of vegetable products (cooking oil for example) or from crops that do not compete with the food chain, such as castor. In summary, it is a typical example of circular economy, as well as the result of the projects conducted in Gela for the transformation of one of Eni’s historic Italian refineries into one of the most innovative biorefineries in Europe. Now, the oil multinational plans to gradually expand the production of Hvo and other fuels such as biogas, also through the transformation of its other refining plants, including Marghera, near Venice, and Livorno. The attention to biofuels is part of a strategy of diversification from the traditional core business and of growing commitment to decarbonisation initiatives: it is in this context that the investments in wind power, solar energy or in the battery-powered car charging networks of the subsidiary are included Be Charged.
Diesel cannot disappear. “We are also working on the electric one, which has very low penetration, but we can’t think that diesel will disappear, that’s not the case”, argued Descalzi, thus emphasizing a position based on technological neutrality. “Biofuel allows today’s industry to go ahead with its components and to give competitiveness to an industry that is fundamental for Italy, not only for Europe”, said the manager. “When we talk about the future of energy we must consider the element of environmental sustainability in a rational way, focusing not only on a technology, but also on a security based on today’s vectors, and on the competitiveness of companies so as not to atrophy them”.