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ENI has launched a biofuel pilot project in Gafsa, Tunisia, using castor oil plants, which will be used in the ENI biorefinery in Venice and subsequently in the biorefinery in Gela on the island of Sicily.
The experimental project aims to find alternative raw materials in place of palm oil and to fuel ENI biorefineries.
The project will cultivate the castor oil plants in semi-arid areas and use its fruit to extract the oil that can be transformed into biofuel.
The plant needs little water and therefore doesn`t take space away from farm lands.
Experimentation began on a 140-hectare plot divided into various lots.
When the plants are in their final stages of maturation, their fruit will be harvested in order to evaluate the yield in oil per ton and to define an extended cultivation plan.
Innovation, jobs, and respect for the environment are the key words of the new ENI project in Tunisia.