Eni has started works for the industrial application of the Eni Slurry Technology at its refining plant of Sannazzaro de' Burgondi, near Pavia, Italy.
Eni has provided over €1.1bn ($1.55bn) for the technology, which is used to convert heavy oil residues in fine products, petrol and gasoil.
The Eni Slurry Technology can produce petrol and gasoil without generating coke or fuel oil, and is based on a hydro-conversion process developed through a special catalyst and a current of hydrogen self-produced starting from methane.
The technology will enable Sannazzaro to become a zero fuel oil refinery, according to Eni.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.