27 May 2009

Neste Oil laid the foundation stone for its renewable diesel plant in the Port of Rotterdam. Upon completion, the plant will be the largest renewable diesel plant in Europe with an annual production capacity of 800,000 metric tons. The project, which was first announced last June, will cost an estimated €670 million, and will create over 100 jobs.

Neste NExBTL renewable diesel is manufactured through refinery hydrogenation of vegetable oils and animal fats. In its existing plant in Finland, the company uses a mix of palm oil, rapeseed oil, and waste animal fat feedstocks. The fuel is composed of paraffinic hydrocarbons, with properties resembling those of synthetic GTL diesel fuel, rather than the methyl ester based biodiesel. NExBTL diesel meets quality standards of petroleum diesel and can be blended with conventional diesel.

The investment is driven by the EU’s 10% renewable fuels target in transport. Neste Oil said it is dedicated to sustainability in its feedstock sourcing, reflected in a commitment to solely using “certified palm oil by the end of 2015 or even before that if sufficient volumes become available”.

The lifecycle greenhouse gas effect of palm oil may vary depending on the oil source. Large quantities of greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to the clearing of rainforests for palm oil plantations, and emissions of methane—a potent greenhouse gas—are released in the mill during palm oil production. Production processes with methane capture at oil mill are being developed.

Source: Neste Oil