- Green hydrogen, energy efficiency and electrification of the Sardinian plant in Guspini (Province of South Sardinia) thanks to the agreement to make the production of ceramics and their derivatives more sustainable, in line with the ‘Sardegna Isola verde’ project
Rome, August 3rd, 2022 - Decarbonizing every link in the ceramics production chain, from the start of production to the firing stage, from energy supply to the gradual replacement of non-renewable sources: the memorandum of understanding signed by Enel and Ceramica Mediterranea marks the start of a wide-ranging project that aims to convert the Sardinian plant of Ceramica Mediterranea, a local company active in the production and sale of high-quality porcelain stoneware, into a sustainable facility.
The agreement aims to initiate the decarbonization of the Sardinian site of Guspini (Province of South Sardinia), a ceramics processing plant owned by Ceramica Mediterranea, through a study that leverages the know-how and implementation skills of companies that, in their respective professional segments, have converted the continuous search for more sustainable production models into an essential element of their business activities. The project aims, among other things, to replace 100 per cent of the LPG currently used in one of the three ceramic firing lines with green hydrogen.
Already submitted in the form of a preliminary expression of interest to the Region of Sardinia as a possible candidate for the soon-to-be-published PNRR (Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan) call for proposals on hydrogen production in disused industrial areas, the initiative is in line with the objectives of the Enel Group’s ‘Sardegna Isola Verde’ project.
"The search for new business models at the service of our customers and technological innovation are key success factors for moving forward with determination towards the zero-emission objective," said Fabio Tentori, Head of Innovability at Enel X. "What we have begun with the signing of this significant agreement is a collaborative journey that focuses on tools to design and implement, in collaboration with our partners, a zero-emission production future that is technologically advanced and efficient. Through innovation we will create the first industrial-scale example of a completely carbon-neutral ceramic firing line, and the solutions adopted will also allow production to be freed from the volatility of the cost of CO2 emission quotas and fossil fuels.”
“The need to decarbonize production processes involves all business activities, and is all the more urgent when referring to a sector with a high fossil fuel consumption (natural gas or LPG) such as ceramics, which is not easily electrified,” commented Paola Brunetto, Head of Enel Green Power’s Hydrogen Business Unit. “In this context, green hydrogen emerges as an ideal solution, to support the decarbonization of the sector as it is complementary to electrification. Thanks to this partnership and the setting up of an electrolysis plant capable of producing hydrogen both from on-site photovoltaics and from our other plants located on the island, we will be able to replace about 1,600 tons of LPG per year, avoiding the release of 4,800 tons of CO2 per year into the atmosphere.”
“At Ceramica Mediterranea we have a production process from only local raw materials that we define as 'zero km', with this new project we are also aiming at 'zero km' for energy supply,” said Bernhard Mazohl, CEO of Ceramica Mediterranea S.p.A. “Participation in the Hydrogen Production and Use project consolidates the company's commitment to using forms of energy that protect the environment. At Ceramica Mediterranea, we have adopted energy optimization policies and major plant modernizations, and with this project we are looking to give a new impetus to this aim that seeks complete energy independence from fossil fuels and zero emissions."
The collaboration is divided into three areas: the first is aimed at assessing the most technically and economically effective decarbonization solution for the ceramic production process, with a focus on green hydrogen applications for high-temperature sub-processes (in particular ceramic firing). The second is focused on the production and storage of green hydrogen onsite to fuel the above production process. Finally, the third area will contain the evaluation of further electrification, energy efficiency and installation of additional renewable generation capacity at the site.
Enel, which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary, is a multinational energy company and a leading integrated operator in the global energy and renewable energy markets. It is the world’s largest privately owned renewable energy operator and the leading global grid operator with the largest number of retail customers. The Group is the worldwide leader in demand response and the largest utility company in Europe in terms of ordinary EBITDA. Enel is present in more than 30 countries worldwide and produces energy with a total capacity of more than 90 GW. Enel distributes electricity through a network of more than 2.2 million kilometers and, with more than 75 million end users. The Group supplies energy to around 70 million homes and businesses. Enel Green Power, which manages renewables within the Enel Group, has a total capacity of around 54 GW with a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric and storage plants in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Enel X Global Retail, Enel’s global business line of advanced energy services, has a total capacity of approximately 6.6 GW of demand response managed globally and 59 MW of behind-the-meter storage capacity. In addition, Enel X Way is the Group’s new global business line dedicated entirely to electric mobility, managing around 320,000 public and private charging points for electric vehicles worldwide, both directly and through interoperability agreements.
 The leadership of Enel in the different categories is defined by comparing it with the data from the 2020 financial year of its competitors, not including publicly owned operators.
Ceramica Mediterranea is the only Italian producer of zero-km porcelain stoneware. The raw materials come exclusively from the quarries of Sardinia and are processed on the island with a local workforce.
For 30 years, in the production plant located in Guspini, in Southern Sardinia, ceramic surfaces have been created in fine porcelain stoneware, in various sizes, decorations and thicknesses, perfectly in line with the contemporary needs of interior design and architecture. A multitude of solutions for indoor, outdoor and driveway flooring and siding, distinguished by their authentic naturalness. Creations that combine refined design with the high technical performance of porcelain stoneware, to give shape to a unique and distinctive style. The materials interpret a series of key elements and symbols of Sardinian culture and tradition, telling it to the world through the precious ceramic surface.