15 November 2010

Neste Oil has announced the start-up of the world’s largest renewable diesel plant in Singapore, with production of NExBTL renewable diesel to be ramped up on a phased basis. The plant was completed on-schedule and on-budget. The main markets for NExBTL diesel are Europe and North America, both driven by renewable fuel mandates.

Neste Oil’s NExBTL process involves hydrogenation of such feedstocks as vegetable oils to produce a premium hydrocarbon-based fuel that is compatible with all diesel engines and existing fuel distribution systems. NExBTL renewable diesel can be used either blended with fossil diesel or neat.

The life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) effect of the NExBTL diesel depends on the feedstock. One of the most cost effective feedstocks is palm oil produced in Malaysia and Indonesia—the GHG and environmental effects of which are rather controversial. While Neste did not comment on the type of feedstocks to be processed in the Singapore plant, the company estimates that NExBTL could enable a 40-80% reduction in GHG emissions.

The Singapore plant has a capacity of 800,000 t/a and cost around 550 million euros to build. The plant has approximately 120 employees. Neste Oil has a similar-sized facility under construction in Rotterdam, which is due to be commissioned in the first half of 2011. The company already operates two renewable diesel plants that came on stream at Porvoo in Finland in 2007 and 2009 with a combined capacity of 380,000 t/a.

Source: Neste Oil