Bio-based technologies for energy transition: Maire Tecnimont’s green innovation for the sustainability of naval and air transport



NextChem, a company of Maire Tecnimont Group focused on the Energy Transition, will build for So.G.I.S. a plant to transform residual fats into oleic acid, an intermediate product used for the production of non-fossil biodegradable, biocompatible and safe lubricants, a sustainable solution for naval transport and for air transport thanks to very high fluid-dynamic properties at low and very low temperatures that enable its use in severe environmental conditions. A rapidly expanding sector with growing demand.

The energy transition is taking off, in name and in fact.  NextChem, a Maire Tecnimont subsidiary operating in the field of energy transition technologies, has launched a project with So.G.I.S. for the recovery of residual fats for the production of oleic acid, an intermediate product used for the production of bio-lubricants, suitable to be used in the naval transport thanks to their biodegradability and biocompatibility and suitable to be used in severe environmental conditions, such as in aeronautical systems, thanks to their fluid dynamic properties at low and very low temperatures.
Bio-lubricants, in addition to the reduction of carbon footprint thanks to their non-fossil origin, have different physiochemical properties from traditional lubricants, which enable their great market coverage. The global bio-lubricant market is growing (it is expected to reach USD 3.6 billion by 2025, from USD 2.4 Billion in 2017, growing at an annual rate of 6.9%1 ) thanks to the large application opportunities in the air and naval transport sectors, also considering the evolution of the environmental legislation.

The NextChem - So.G.I.S. agreement concerns the supply of engineering and procurement services by NextChem for the construction of a So.G.I.S. production unit in the Municipality of Sospiro, in the province of Cremona, Italy, for the production of oleic acid from residual fats through a process of wet fractionation of fatty acids. The production line, with a capacity of 60 tons / day, will be incorporated into the production processes of So.G.I.S..

 "We are satisfied with the path taken together with NextChem and happy to start this collaboration today, which is being added to other projects already in progress, in the field of green technologies" declares the General Director of So.G.I.S. Riccardo Alquati. "This is a step forward for us towards sustainability with a view to improving the performance of our products".

"NextChem is investing in technology and research with the aim of implementing bio-chemicals and bio-fuels production processes on an industrial scale starting from renewable raw materials" said Pierroberto Folgiero, Chief Executive Officer Maire Tecnimont Group and CEO of NextChem. "At the same time, we are also engaged in the areas of Energy Efficiency and Emission Reduction (de-carbonization) and of Circular Economy. We want to put the experience of the Maire Tecnimont Group at the service of industry, for energy transition. This agreement with So.G.I.S. is a brilliant example of sustainable innovation in a downstream sector where demand is great while supply is limited".

Maire Tecnimont S.p.A., listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, is a head company of an industrial group leader in natural resources processing industry (plant engineering in oil & gas downstream, with advanced technological and executive skills). With its subsidiary NextChem it operates in the field of green chemistry and technologies for energy transition. Maire Tecnimont Group is present in approximately 45 countries, has about 50 operating companies and employs about 6,300 people, plus 3,000 professionals in instrumentation business unit. For more information:

So.G.I.S. has been operating since 1962 in the oleochemical sector and produces chemicals from renewable sources. Since 1990 it operates in joint venture con Baerlocher GmbH, world leader in additives for PVC. So.G.I.S. is present worldwide in many application fields: plastic materials, building industry, biodegradable lubricants, detergents, drilling, paper industry, leather goods, paints, inks and many others. It  endorses a sustainable development model, safe and environmentally friendly production processes, for the protection of people and environment.

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1Data Bridge Market Research, 2019