Matrìca, the 50/50 joint venture between Versalis (Eni) and Novamont, hosted today the International Open Day, a chance for the European Stakeholders attending the third Bioeconomy Conference held in Turin to visit the newly-built plant at Porto Torres, the bio-run industrial complex utilizing the latest technologies and vegetable oils as raw materials. The project was conceived back in 2011 with the objective of converting the petrochemical plant at Porto Torres into one of the most innovative, integrated green chemistry industrial project at world level.
Matrìca today has a Research Centre with 7 pilot plants and a world-scale bio-monomer unit up and running from June 2014, converting vegetable oils into monomers and intermediates (such as azelaic acid and pelargonic acid), the building blocks from downstream processes of more complex bio-products, such as bioplastics.
As part of the completion programme of the Porto Torres project as a whole, the esterification cycle facilities, the polymers and rubbers additives plant are also going on-stream over the next few weeks. Representing a global investment of about 180 million Euro, the three plants will have a total capacity of approximately 70 thousand tons per year.
The range of Matrìca product portfolio is set to feed the tyre industry, amongst others, including a raft of innovative products with high added value, such as bases for bio-lubricants, plasticizers for polymers and products for cosmetic formulations.
Daniele Ferrari, Chairman, Catia Bastioli, CEO of Matrìca, and Barend Verachtert, Deputy Head of Biotechnologies Unit at the European Commission, hosted the event and took the opportunity to give a bird’s eye view over the pioneering industrial model represented by the project, its fundamentals of sustainability and integration across the board, R&D activities and its commercial potential.
“Matrìca, with its innovative and market-driven approach, offers a valuable opportunity for fostering competitiveness of the European chemical industry. Starting from agriculture, with advantages along the whole value chain for the complete exploitation of the biomass, bio-based chemistry is the best testing ground for the so-called “circular economy”, sparking sustainable solutions and resilient growth”, said Daniele Ferrari, Chairman of Matrìca and CEO of Versalis (Eni).
According Catia Bastioli, CEO of Matrica and Novamont, “the Conference confirmed that moving from sectors to system entails a holistic, interconnected and interdependent approach, creating a solid network between industry, agriculture, environment, education, research and finance. It requires building bridges between the different societal challenges and sectors and implementing coordinated policies. It’s now time for the bioeconomy to enter into European, national and regional strategic policy agendas”.