Raffineria di Milazzo: A Beacon of Hope in Turbulent Times

Refined excellence

Raffineria di Milazzo has surged through the last two years with dedication to the success of its team, business and community, in spite of the difficulties inflicted by Covid-19

Sicilian oil refinery Raffineria di Milazzo (RAM) is feeling more empowered to tackle climate change and support its people, in light of the changes the company has recently undergone. Luca Amoruso, the General Manager, updates us on the adaptations that have been incorporated across the business since we last spoke in 2020, allowing RAM to stay ahead of the curve. “The past year was really difficult for the entire oil sector,” he begins. “However, owing to RAM’s ability to react quickly to such challenging market circumstances, and its flexibility to adapt to the impact of the pandemic, we have been able to withstand this difficult time, and keep our refinery in safe operation.”

As one of Europe’s most complex refineries, RAM possesses a processing capacity of ten million tons of fuel per year, which includes a wide range of raw materials that are produced under stringent quality specifications. This is a result of the pioneering innovation that has led to the company’s sustained success. Over the last 16 years, over €1 billion has been invested into RAM in order to maintain the quality of its products and its excellent safety record, and as Luca shares, the limitations of Covid-19 have not deterred it from its path.

“Over the last 12 months, RAM performed a major maintenance upgrade throughout its refinery units, investing more than €50 million, with over 3000 people involved in the process. Together with the usual technical efforts to complete such maintenance, RAM managed to perform this by introducing new procedures to face Covid-19. We also successfully accomplished the maintenance targets without any safety problems.” Although refinery margins in 2020 showed a dip (a clear consequence of the pandemic), 2021 has brought a more positive outlook, driven by consumption, and resulting in a demand increase.

Luca notes that the refinery sector will face new challenges over the next ten years concerning the energy transition, and international strategies to combat climate change, which will impact fossil fuels. “It is essential for our refinery to be ready to adapt, which is why we have begun a long-term sustainability study. We’ve started a project to turn waste into sustainable fuel, and we are working together with the local university and the ENI Research Center to evaluate the possibility of producing biofuel from a by-product of the food industry. It is the first project for RAM in the circular economy, and we believe that in the future, these types of projects will play an important role in the refinery’s sustainability journey,” he says. The study is said to guarantee a 65 percent saving in CO2 emissions, and make significant contributions to the decarbonization of the regional transport sector.

“We are focused on continuous improvement, both for our environmental performance and process efficiency. Our goal is to strengthen our sustainability from an environmental and profitability point of view. To achieve this, we need in-depth knowledge of the requirements to facilitate the climate change transformation, especially since the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) is enforcing measures for the EU to decrease fuel consumption by 2030. We also need an effective plan to implement the solutions that will achieve these goals,” explains Luca, and it seems that RAM’s strategies are gaining the recognition they deserve. In April 2021, the company was named one of the ‘Green Stars 2021’, and placed on the list of ‘Top 200 Most Sustainable Companies’ by the German Institute of Quality and Finance. “We are all proud of what we have accomplished so far. It is a result of our continuous efforts to improve our commitment to keep the path to a greener future alive,” he adds.

In addition to implementing market recovery measures and taking on the climate crisis, RAM continues to support its community. Last year, the company invested over €400,000 in essential equipment for its local hospital during the peak of the Covid-19 disaster. “The pandemic has put a strain on many people and their communities. To assist with the rising Covid-19 infections, we bought ten intensive care stations to help the local hospital strengthen their services. This investment was to improve the safety and quality of the healthcare delivered across the Milazzo community,” he explains.

Regardless of the demanding conditions with which the business is faced, Luca is optimistic about the future of RAM’s contribution to the oil industry. He shares that the investment strategy for the next few years will be focused on the energy transition, and sustainability and compliance with environmental regulations. Above all, he will take on new opportunities and refine areas in need of improvement to make RAM resilient against unpredictable market changes. “We are proud to share with RAM stakeholders that our performance is producing high quality fuels with the best technology available, while meeting the highest efficiency, safety and sustainability standards. At the same time, these strategies allow us to create jobs and economic development in Sicily, and continue to strengthen our surrounding communities,” he concludes.

Raffineria di Milazzo
Services: Producers of petrol, diesel, kerosene, LPG, propylene, sulphur and naphtha