AMSTERDAM (New Economy Observer) – Finnish oil refiner Neste has chosen Europe’s largest port in Rotterdam as the potential site for a plant to increase renewable fuels production, according to a company release.
Neste chose Rotterdam in the Netherlands, which has ambitious plans to become Europe’s clean energy hub, over Porvoo, Finland, due to savings.
“The overall cost of the investment is significantly lower in Rotterdam,” Peter Vanacker, CEO of Neste, said. “Our decision relies on ensuring our future competitiveness and our renewables’ growth strategy execution.”
Oil refiners globally are expanding to renewable fuels as governments seek to lower carbon emissions. This has changed both the fuels they produce and how they source energy to produce those fuels.
Neste has a $1.8 billion refinery expansion in Singapore under way, which it will use as a blueprint for the Rotterdam plant, according to Reuters citing Vanacker. The Singapore unit makes fuels from waste such as cooking oil and animal fat from the food industry, and residues from vegetable oil processing, Reuters said.
Logistics and construction costs along with the availability of low-carbon hydrogen supply were also listed by Neste as reasons for the choice of location.
Rotterdam is leveraging its role as a center of European logistics and refining to become the leading transit hub for clean energy, according to the port’s website. It will produce carbon-free and low-carbon hydrogen, and build pipelines in the port area for use in industry, transport and navigation.
Shell and H2-Fifty (BP-Nouryon) are taking investment decisions this year on two electrolysers for hydrogen production at the port. The first of these is expected to be operational in late 2023 or early 2024. Uniper is also conducting a feasibility study for an additional electrolyser. The port sees capacity of more than 500MW from the three electrolysers in 2025 and growth to as much as 2GW in 2030.
Neste said its plans for the Rotterdam biofuels refinery are set to go to the board of directors for a final investment decision by the end of 2021 or early 2022.
Neste listed the criteria for site selection as also including current markets and a regulatory framework supporting market growth, raw material sourcing opportunities, investment and operating costs, infrastructure and low carbon utilities as well as local synergies and incentives.