Italian multinational oil and gas company, Eni has exported its first cargo of vegetable oil produced in Kenya for biorefining in its Gela biorefinery in Italy.
The vegetable oil is produced in the firm’s Makueni agri-hub opened in July 2022. The hub processes castor, croton, and cotton seeds.
The move marks the start of a transport and logistic system that will support the value chain in the country, starting with a production of 2,500 tons by the end of 2022 to scale up rapidly to 20,000 tons in 2023.
“Just three months after the start-up of the Makueni agri-hub, we have exported the first cargo of vegetable oil for the biorefineries, through a vertical integration model that enables the promotion of sustainable local development while valorizing the supply chain for biofuels production,” said Claudio Descalzi, Eni’s Chief Executive Officer.
Claudio noted that the production in Kenya will extend to Congo in the next year, aiming at involving gradually the other African countries and geographic areas where they are carrying out these projects.
Eni launched the project in Kenya in 2021, after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Kenyan institutions.
The initiative foresees the construction of other agri-hubs, with the second one to be operational in 2023, and the production growth with the involvement of tens of thousands of farmers, contributing to the country’s rural development and long-term value creation.
In addition to vegetable oil, Eni also plans to export the Used Cooking Oil (UCO) collected from hotel chains, restaurants, and bars in Nairobi, through a project already underway that promotes the culture of recycling, raising awareness of the environmental and health benefits that derive from the proper disposal of waste oil, and generating income from waste.
Kenya leads the way for Eni’s initiatives in the agro-industrial chain, which currently include Congo, Mozambique, Angola, Ivory Coast, Benin, Rwanda, and Kazakhstan.