The tecnological evolution of the plants

The production structure of the Milazzo Refinery, originally based on a simple cycle, was expanded using major investments planned in the second half of the 1980s and aimed to:

  • increase the conversion capacity, i.e. the ability to transform crude oil into finished products, compared to oil distillation alone
  • maintain the production of the entire range of finished products in compliance with increasingly stringent legal limits.

Since the 1990s, constant development and technological upgrading interventions have been implemented on the plants to obtain better results in terms of production, thanks to maximum efficiency and improved performance. Plants that operate efficiently make it possible to avoid production interruptions and other inefficiencies, reducing safety risks


Topping, Vacuum, FCC

Vacuum Increase in distillation capacity: with the primary distillation unit (Topping 3 and 4) and vacuum.

Increased conversion to light distillates and improved petrol quality with the Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCC).



Completion of the range of finished products with the Hydrocracker Unit, enabling the conversion of vacuum distillation products into finished products.



Increased conversion of heavy products with the LCFiner Unit converting fuel oil into middle distillates (diesel).



Reduction of the sulphur content of diesel fuel with the HDS2 Unit, in line with regulations on reducing the sulphur content of fuels.



Reduction of sulphur content from petrol with the HDT2 Unit. Sulphur levels were contained, ahead of legal deadlines, below 50 ppm and later (2009) below 10 ppm, helping to reduce emissions from vehicle exhausts.



Reduction of the emission of odorous substances into the air. Vapours emitted by tankers during product loading are recovered thanks to the VRU unit, which the Milazzo Refinery was the first in Italy to implement on a voluntary basis.



Production of biofuel (ETBE) following the modification of the MTBE production plant.



Production of energy from renewable sources with the photovoltaic plant used for self-consumption, which produces approximately 1,350,000 kWh per year.


GARO 2 and VRU 2

Reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions through flare gas recovery.

The second flare gas recovery compressor (GARO 2) was installed to reduce the gas burnt in the flare by using it inside the plant.

Vapour recycling with the VRU2 unit, which is added to the first one installed in 2006.



Hydrogen production using natural gas (methane) through the Steam reforming process with the HMU3 Unit. This was the third hydrogen production plant.



Improvement of product quality and efficiency of the FCC unit. Modifications on the Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCC) allow the processing of less valuable charges while still improving conversion and fuel selectivity. In addition, the Turboexpander was installed, which improves the plant’s energy performance and produces more than 11 MWe of electricity.



Sulphur recovery and the reduction of sulphur compound emissions. With the third SRU3 Sulphur Recovery Unit, sulphur recovery has been further improved during the desulphurisation of fuels (such as petrol and diesel). It is among the interventions aimed at maintaining high standards of environmental protection and ensuring greater flexibility.


VRU 3, Thermal connection

Vapour recovery: a third unit (VRU3) is added. An additional recovery section was also installed on each VRU. The modification, which came into operation in 2019, increases flexibility in loading and unloading operations, as well as further reducing odour emissions into the atmosphere during loading onto ships.

Completed the electrical connection with Termica Milazzo, which brings greater reliability and flexibility and electrical self-sufficiency for the Refinery.


Desulphurisation column

A new unit was introduced to remove sulphur compounds in fuel gas, which is then burnt at the furnaces. The unit is a further element in the direction of improving environmental protection standards and providing greater flexibility.

RAM evoluzione tecnologica impianti