Oil and chemical firm Eni and bioplastics maker Novamont, both of Italy, have formed a joint venture to build a $720 million plant to make chemicals from biomass at Eni’s Porto Torres petrochemical complex on the Italian island of Sardinia. The facility is intended to process locally produced crops into biobased monomers, lubricants, intermediates, additives, and plastics. Eni hopes that this foray will help it become a leader in green chemistry. The company previously disclosed plans for biomass-based power generation at the site. Novamont says the plan represents a new model for Italy’s chemical sector “involving industry, agriculture, environment, and the local economy.” Novamont makes the starch-based thermoplastic Mater Bi.