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Eni has sold the licence and basic engineering project to the Chinese company Sinopec to construct a refining plant using the Eni Slurry Technology (EST)

The plant will be built at the Sinopec refinery in Maoming, in Guandong province.

The EST technology aims to convert refining residues entirely into high-quality light products, eliminating both liquid and solid refining residues with significant environmental benefits.

As part of the licensing agreement, Eni will provide Sinopec with the basic engineering project and other services such as operational and technical training, as well as assistance during the development phase and the implementation of detailed engineering. Sinopec will be responsible for detailed engineering and construction operations.

Sinopec, one of the world’s largest operators in the refining sector, will consequently be the first international company to make full use of the EST, which Eni developed through its research and industrial developments.

The Chinese company is set to build an EST plant with the design capacity of 46,000 bpd of heavy refining residue (310 tonnes per hour). The plant is expected to replace the existing pet-coke production line, with significant environmental benefits in compliance with the new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations concerning sulphur contained in bunker fuel.

The plant is due to be completed by 2020.