Rome, 20 February 2008 The chief executives of Eni, Paolo Scaroni, and Enel, Fulvio Conti, today signed a letter of intent to develop a joint feasibility study on the capture, transport and sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2).
According to the most likely forecasts, it will be many decades before we will be able to do without fossil fuels in the generation of electricity. Modern technology makes it possible to substantially increase the efficiency of thermal power plants and to drastically reduce traditional pollutants, such as particulates, sulphur dioxide and nitric oxides. More effective solutions need to be developed to address the problem of greenhouse gases like CO2, which is produced during combustion.
Paolo Scaroni stated: Satisfying growing world demand for energy, while mitigating its impact on the environment, is one of the main challenges todays energy sector has to face. The agreement we have just signed enables two large energy companies to join forces to find viable solutions to the greenhouse gas effect. Eni and Enel together will offer Italy their best technological capabilities to put in place an effective and safe system for capturing and sequestrating CO2.
Fulvio Conti stated: With todays accord, two large energy companies join forces to find the best solutions to effectively combat climate change. Our cooperation gives Italy a chance to be at the forefront of the development of the most innovative technologies, such as capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide, on which European and U.S. institutions and largest companies are focusing their attention.
The capture, transport and sequestration of CO2, together with research into high-efficiency solar power and new-generation nuclear power, is currently one of the most promising solutions for reconciling diverse and equally vital needs: ensuring the availability of sufficient power to meet the requirements of human development (nearly two billion people around the world do not have access to electricity) at competitive costs, while reducing the emissions that threaten our climate.
For these reasons, from the United States to Australia, Germany, Norway and elsewhere around the world, research and experimentation is under way into approaches to capturing this gas, liquefying it and confining it at sites designed for permanent, safe storage. It is no coincidence that the European institutions have on numerous occasions underscored its importance in the fight against climate change, as it is a crucial tool to achieve the European target of cutting CO2 emissions by 20% within 2020. This is one of the three twenties set by the European Union along with a 20% increase of energy produced using renewable sources and a 20% increase of energy efficiency.
In this rapidly evolving environment, Eni and Enel have today decided to join forces to ensure that Italy can participate effectively at the cutting edge of this new technological challenge.
Eni possesses skills in the sequestration of CO2 in geological sites, such as depleted hydrocarbon deposits, deep saline aquifers, etc., while Enel is skilled in the capture of CO2, having launched two demonstration projects for CO2 capture and sequestration. Enel is also studying the potential of geological storage in areas near its power plants.
If the feasibility study is successful, Eni and Enel will jointly develop a draft National Plan for the capture, transport and sequestration of CO2 to be submitted to the government and to the competent Italian and European institutions. In particular, they are committed to conducting a joint assessment of national off-shore and on-shore CO2 sequestration options and the implementation of one or more pilot projects involving the integration of CO2 capture, transport and sequestration facilities.