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  • Eni S.p.A.

Eni, LG Chem explore renewable diesel, SAF project development in South Korea

The biorefinery project is being considered at LG Chem's chemical complex southwest of Seoul, South Korea, pictured. A final investment decision is expected next year and the plant could be complete by 2026. (Photo: Eni)

South Korea’s leading chemicals producer LG Chem and Italian energy group Eni Sustainable Mobility jointly announced Sept. 14 that they are exploring the possibility to develop and operate a new biorefinery at LG Chem’s Daesan chemical complex, 80 kilometers southwest of Seoul, South Korea.

Together, the companies are examining the technical and economic feasibilities for the proposed project.

A final decision for the investment is scheduled by 2024 and the plant will be completed by 2026 at the existing integrated petrochemical complex in Daesan, Korea.

The new biorefinery will leverage LG Chem’s integrated value chain as well as the existing utilities and facilities of the industrial site.

The potential biorefinery aims to meet the growing demand for more sustainable fuels and plastics produced by low-carbon processes, as well as to help progressively decarbonize the energy and mobility sector.

It is designed to process approximately 400,000 tons of biobased feedstocks annually using Eni’s Ecofining™ process, developed in collaboration with Honeywell UOP.

It will also have the flexibility to process renewable biobased feedstocks and produce multiple products including renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and bionaphtha.

LG Chem and Eni will combine expertise in this initiative.

Committed to producing more sustainable chemicals, LG Chem will leverage its knowledge and resources to ensure the project’s success.

LG Chem has been manufacturing ecofriendly plastic products using bionaphtha since 2020.

In April 2021, it became the first South Korean chemical company to receive certification under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification Plus system for nine biocircular-balanced products.

Four months later, LG Chem started shipping its first biobalanced super-absorbent polymer (SAP) products—also certified with ISCC Plus—to overseas markets.

In October 2022, LG Chem expanded its ISCC Plus certified ecocertified product portfolio to over 50 items, reaffirming its ever-growing commitment to sustainability.

LG Chem will now work closely with Eni to increase the visibility of its ecofriendly integrated brand LETZero.

Eni will bring its extensive experience in biorefining, along with its Ecofining™ technology.

In 2014, Eni accomplished the world’s first refinery-to-biorefinery conversion at Porto Marghera, Venice, followed by a second converted biorefinery that has been working in Gela, Sicily, since 2019.

This June, Eni entered in a joint venture with PBF Energy acquiring 50 percent interest of the St. Bernard Renewables LLC biorefinery in Louisiana, also based on the use of the Ecofining™ technology.

Furthermore, leveraging its worldwide footprint and knowledge in supplying, Eni will provide the South Korean biorefinery with sustainable feedstock mainly based on waste and residues from the processing of vegetable oils, used cooking oil, and also vegetable oils from drought-resistant crops in degraded, semi-arid, or abandoned soils not in competition with the food chain.


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