Neste Oil will build an 800,000 tonne/year (about 240 million gallons US) plant to produce NExBTL renewable diesel in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Construction will start immediately and the facility is scheduled to be completed in 2011. Total cost of the investment is projected to be €670 million (US$1 billion).
Neste Oil announced its decision to go ahead with a similar-sized plant in Singapore in November 2007. (Earlier post.) Both plants are linked to Neste Oil’s goal of becoming the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel fuel.
The plant will be based on Neste Oil’s proprietary NExBTL technology for the high-pressure hydrotreatment of fatty acids—a second-generation biofuel process that produces a pure hydrocarbon fuel (bio-hydrocarbon). The process can use a flexible input of any vegetable oil or animal fat and produce a product with characteristics similar to Fischer-Tropsch output. (Earlier post.) The first NExBTL facility was commissioned in Finland at Neste Oil’s Porvoo refinery in summer 2007.
The plant will be based on Neste Oil’s proprietary NExBTL technology for the high-pressure hydrotreatment of fatty acids—a second-generation biofuel process that produces a pure hydrocarbon fuel (bio-hydrocarbon). The process can use a flexible input of any vegetable oil or animal fat. It produces a product with characteristics similar to Fischer-Tropsch output. (Earlier post.)
In its plant in Finland, the company currently uses a mix of palm oil, rapeseed oil, and animal fat to produce renewable diesel.
Neste Oil has a major R&D program under way to develop new renewable raw materials for fuel production, and is working towards a target of completely non-food raw material use by 2020. Neste Oil is cooperating with more than 20 universities and research institutions globally as part of this program, which is divided into six areas, including non-food vegetable oil, wood-based materials, and algae.
Solazyme, an algal fuels company, recently introduced SoladieselRD, an algae-derived drop-in renewable bio-hydrocarbon fuel that meets ASTM D-975 diesel specifications and that is produced in a refinery with a process that also includes the hydrotreatment step to deoxygenate the algae oil. (Earlier post.) Solazyme’s focus is on optimizing the algae for such a process.
The new plant is being built in the Maasvlakten area in the western part of the Port of Rotterdam. Its location close to other chemicals plants will offer a number of synergy opportunities with other facilities. Nearby plants will supply Neste Oil with utilities.
Neste Oil will work with the same key partners in Rotterdam that it selected for its project in Singapore. Technip Italy will act as the project’s main contractor and Air Liquide will supply the hydrogen required by the process.