Saras is preparing to expand the biofuel output at its 300,000 barrels a day (b/d) Sarroch refinery on Sardinia and is also considering investment in hydrogen, according to news agency Reuters.
In an article published today (13 October), Reuters quoted Saras CEO Dario Scaffardi as saying: ‘We are already running a significant amount of vegetable oil and we plan to increase it. Biofuels are an opportunity because of the cost structure in Europe.’
Saras has indicated that it aims to reach vegetable oil processing capacity of 100,000 tonnes a year, with plans to increase that to 250,000 tonnes.
Reuters reported that Saras is also considering investments in hydrogen, as a clean fuel of the future, as well as studying plans to build a carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility to absorb emissions from the power plant it operates at the refinery.
Scaffardi also told Reuters that Saras is looking to make cost savings of around €120 million as result of the downturn in fuel demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘The refining environment in the last few months has been extremely, extremely challenging,’ Scaffardi was quoted as saying.
No employee will be made redundant, Scaffardi said, and the Sarroch refinery will continue to operate – but it will do so at below full capacity and planned investments in tank farms and power grid upgrades will be put in hold.