Italian oil and gas company Eni has pushed back its target to double hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO) production capacity to 2M tonnes/year by one year to 2025, Argus Media reported the firm’s chief executive as saying.

However, after that date the company expects capacity to grow at a much faster pace than previously forecast, according to the 18 March report.

Speaking at Eni's 2022-25 strategy day, chief executive Claudio Descalzi said the firm's HVO production capacity would increase to up to 6M tonnes/year by around 2035, which compared with a previous target of 5M tonnes/year by 2050.

Eni currently runs a 650,000 tonnes/year HVO unit in Gela, Sicily, and a 350,000 tonnes/year plant in Venice, according to the report.

The company said the 2025 capacity target would be accomplished by “the expansion of the Venice plant and another traditional refinery conversion”.

Eni had been considering the conversion of its 84,000 barrels/day Livorno refinery since the end of 2020 and there had been no crude deliveries at the refinery since December, Argus Media wrote.

Descalzi said the firm's HVO plants would be part of a new sustainable mobility segment in the company, which would include a “robust supply of diversified feedstock”.

Eni said it had signed deals with partner countries in Africa to develop “a network of agro-hubs” to boost feedstock options and help phase out the use of palm oil as a HVO feedstock by 2023.