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Vegetable oil from Kenya, updates from the BIKE case study

The first cargo of vegetable oil produced by Eni in Kenya departed from the port of Mombasa at the beginning of October 2022, bound for the biorefinery in Gela (Sicily). This marks the start of the 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.

The vegetable oil is produced in the agri-hub located in Makueni. The pressing plant opened by the company in July 2022 actually processes castor, croton and cotton seeds located in Makueni. These are agri-feedstocks, which are not in competition with the food production, cultivated in degraded areas, harvested from spontaneous trees, or resulting from the valorization of agricultural by-products. This activity offers new income opportunities and market access to thousands of farmers. In addition, the agri-hub produces feed and bio-fertilizers, derived from the protein component of the seeds, thus benefitting livestock production and contributing to food security.

Eni Agri-hub in Makueni, photo credits: Eni

This supply chain and all its related agri-feedstocks are certified according to the ISCC-EU (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) sustainability scheme, one of the main voluntary standards recognized by the European Commission for the certification of biofuels (RED II). Eni was the first company in the world to certify castor and croton and to allow an African cotton mill to reach these certification standards, offering new market opportunities to local farmers.

In June, ISCC will conduct an audit round in Kenya to guarantee the full compliance with the low-ILUC risk certification scheme, the one developed within the BIKE project.

By 2025, Eni aims to cover 35% of the supply of its biorefineries thanks to the vertical integration of the agri-feedstock and waste & residue supply chain. This will allow the company to secure volumes of vegetable oil in a challenging environment in terms of prices, growing energy demand and availability of sustainable oils.  

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The low ILUC-risk concept is a basis to certify that additional feedstock can be produced from agricultural systems for biofuel production while avoiding broader market