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June 17, 2014

Versalis/Novamont joint venture Matrica starts up biorefinery in Italy

Mary Page Bailey

Matrìca S.p.A (Porto Torres, Italy; www.matrica.it), the 50/50 joint venture between Versalis (Eni) and Novamont has inaugurated its first “green chemistry complex.” First conceived in 2011, with the objective of converting the petrochemical plant at Porto Torres, Italy into an integrated green chemistry complex, the project now celebrates the startup of production at this biorefinery, using raw materials from vegetable renewable sources.
 
The Matrìca plant converts vegetable oils into monomers and intermediates, the base products for downstream production of more complex bio-products. In the coming months, another two plants currently n the construction phase at the new Matrìca complex will come on-stream; at these two plants, monomers and intermediates will be transformed into extensor oils for the tire industry, as well as other products, such as bases for bio-lubricants, plasticizers for polymers and products for cosmetic formulations.
 
Representing a global investment of about €180 million, the three plants will produce a total capacity of bio-products of approximately 70,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr).

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