Singapore trumpets world’s largest renewable diesel plant
Production at the world's largest renewable diesel plant has run smoothly since its start up in November 2010, according to a press statement from Neste Oil. The company says the plant was completed on-schedule and on-budget and marks a major step forward in its strategy of producing premium-quality NExBTL renewable diesel, which it claims is the cleanest diesel fuel on the market today.
"Only two years ago we were here to lay the cornerstone of our renewable diesel plan. The rather empty piece of land has since been turned into the world's biggest renewable diesel plant," said Matti Lievonen, president & CEO of Neste Oil.
"As a location, Singapore has fulfilled all our expectations. It is the world's third-largest center of oil refining, and occupies a central location in terms of product and feedstock flows as well as logistics," he said.
The plant has a capacity of 800,000 metric tons per annum, and cost around USD766 million (EU 550 million) to build. It uses a variety of renewable feedstocks to produce NExBTL, including palm oil and side stream products of palm oil production from Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as waste animal fat from Australia and New Zealand.
Neste Oil has a similar-sized facility under construction in Rotterdam, which is due to be commissioned in mid-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 metric tons per annum.
After the start-up of Rotterdam plant, the production capacity of Neste Oil's renewable diesel plants will be approximately two million metric tons annually. The main markets for NExBTL diesel are Europe and North America, where use of biofules has been mandated.
No country in Asia has adopted such a mandate yet, and while this remains the case, Lievonen said Neste Oil is unlikely to start marketing its biodiesel in the region: 'Asia in the next five years is not going to be a big market for us.'
Biodiesel is more expensive than conventional diesel, and fuel sellers have little incentive to buy biodiesel if they are not required by law to do so.