The official inauguration of the first of the green chemistry plants at the new Matrìca complex took place on Monday at Porto Torres, on the island of Sardinia. Matrìca is a 50:50 joint venture between Versalis, the leading Italian manufacturer of petrochemical products, and Novamont, a major Italian manufacturer of bioplastics sector. First conceived of back in 2011 with the object of converting the petrochemical plant at Porto Torres into one of the most innovative, integrated green chemistry complexes in the world, the project today celebrates the start-up of production based on raw materials from vegetable renewable sources.
Daniele Ferrari, Chairman, and Catia Bastioli, Managing Director of Matrìca performed the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was also attended by the Italian Minister of the Environment Gian Luca Galletti. The newly opened plant converts vegetable oils into monomers and intermediates, the building blocks for downstream production of more complex bioproducts.
Over the next few months, another two plants will come on-stream at the biorefinery complex; at these, monomers and intermediates will be transformed into extensor oils for the tire industry and into a raft of innovative products with high added value, such as bases for biolubricants, plasticizers for polymers and products for cosmetic formulations. Representing a global investment of about 180 million Euros ($240 million), the three plants have a total production capacity of approximately 70 thousand tons per year.