"We investigated the strengths of both potential operating environments, and also revisited our outlooks for raw materials and demand."
Neste, the Finnish company well-known for its work with fossil fuels is to continue its push to establish itself as a major player in biofuels, after it chose Singapore as the planned site for its next bio-refinery that will boost production by around one million tonnes.
Neste elected to locate its next bio-refinery in Singapore, seven years after opening its first biofuel site in the country, to increase its capacity for renewable diesel, aviation fuel and raw materials for various biochemical uses. The latest production facility, which Neste says will begin operations in 2022, will include an improved pre-treatment unit that will be used to make use of waste materials that are of poor quality.
With similar refinery sites in The Netherlands and Finland, Neste said it chose Singapore over the US after the consideration of a number of varying factors. “We investigated the strengths of both potential operating environments, and also revisited our outlooks for raw materials and demand. Based on this overall assessment, we settled on Singapore,” said Kaisa Hietala, head of Neste's renewable products business.
Two years before the upcoming Singapore refinery arrives in 2022, Neste will look to increase the efficiency of its renewable fuels to remove the bottlenecks that prevent the company from producing higher volumes. In the case of bio-diesel, for instance, eliminating bottlenecks will enable the company to boost capacity from 2.6 million tonnes to three million tonnes. The environmental reasons behind increased use of bio-diesel certainly stack up; in June, a study led by Tampere University of Technology in Finland showed that the use of Neste’s renewable diesel reduced emissions and particulates in the atmosphere by an average of 35%, but as high as 60% in the best-case scenario.
The news came in a week that President Trump ruled in favour of biofuels, such as corn-based ethanol, regarding a law (the Renewable Fuel Standard) that requires fossil fuel refiners to use increasing quantities of biofuel in the production of fuel. As reported by Reuters, the action was followed by a statement from Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the man leading the fuel delegation, who said President Trump remained committed to farmers and energy workers. “It’s a win for jobs, but also a win for farmers at the same time,” said Cruz.