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Neste applies for CA LCFS pathway for renewable diesel produced in Singapore from corn oil extracted in US midwest

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) posted eleven new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) fuel pathways to the LCFS public comments website. Among them are two proposed pathways from Neste for the production of renewable diesel at its Singapore refinery, using corn oil from the US midwest as feedstock. The renewable diesel would then be shipped back to California.

Neste Singapore Pte Ltd. produces approximately 250 million gallons annually of drop-in renewable diesel (RD) (NEXBTL, not biodiesel) from multiple feedstocks at its plant in Singapore.

Neste applied for two pathways covering the RD produced at its Singapore plant from corn oil extracted from Dry DGS (distillers’ grain solubles, a co-product of ethanol production) and Wet DGS. The feedstock is transported 50 miles by truck; then 1,700 miles by rail from Midwest ethanol plant to the port of Los Angeles; and then 7,677 nautical miles (8,828 miles) by ocean tanker to the Neste plant in Singapore. Once the corn oil has been converted to renewable diesel, the finished fuel is transported an estimated 7,677 nautical miles (8,828 miles) by ocean tanker to Los Angeles.

Neste’s process generates a propane-rich off-gas (both high- and low-pressure) as a co-product; the high pressure portion is conveyed via a dedicated pipeline to a hydrogen plant located on Jurong Island. There it displaces natural gas that would otherwise have been consumed as both a process fuel and a feedstock at the steam-methane reformer. The hydrogen supplied by the Jurong Island plant is piped back to the Neste plant where it is used for the hydrotreatment required by the process. The low-pressure propane-rich off-gas is sent to a natural gas steam boiler that provides process heat to the RD plant.

Neste calculated its pathway carbon intensities (CIs) to be 16.73 gCO2e/MJ for Dry DGS and 39.13 gCO2e/MJ for Wet DGS. These CIs includes a 3.09 gCO2e/MJ credit for the natural gas displaced by the propane-rich off-gas from the RD plant. These proposed carbon intensity value includes transportation of the feedstock to the refinery, renewable diesel production, finished fuel transportation to California, and vehicle tailpipe emissions.

The baseline CI for petroleum ultralow sulfur diesel in the LCFS is 98.03 gCO2e/MJ. (A proposed change to the regulation and the corresponding CI using CA-GREET 2.0 would raise that to 102.76 gCO2e/MJ due to

ARB staff recommends that Neste’s application for the pathways be approved.



What a strange and nonsense plan to extend the life of a dying polluting technology?

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