Neste Oil eyes Singapore for world's largest renewable diesel plant

By Bryan Sims | January 17, 2008
Neste Oil Corp., a Finland-based oil refiner-and biodiesel producer, marketer and distributor-intends to invest approximately $810 million in the construction of an 800,000-metric-ton renewable diesel production facility in Singapore. Once operational, the plant would be the largest renewable diesel facility in the world.

The plant will be built in the Tuas industrial zone in the southwest part of the island. Integrated into the area's existing industrial infrastructure, it will make use of local utilities, and port and storage services. Construction is expected to commence in the first half of 2008 with completion slated for late 2010.

The new plant will use the company's proprietary NExBTL technology, a commercial-scale, new-generation renewable diesel production process that can use any vegetable oil or animal fat as its input, according to the company.

The facility's primary feedstock would be palm oil, according to company spokesman Osmo Kammonen. The company will only use palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil as soon as sufficient quantities are available. Palm oil complying with the RSPO certification system, which was approved in November, will probably be available from the early part of 2008 onward, Kammonen said.

Because of its NExBTL renewable diesel process, Neste Oil recently received a Cleantech Finland award, an honor coordinated by Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund. The awards were presented by Finnish Minister of the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen on Nov. 7 at the closing seminar of Sitra's Environmental Program. Winners of the Cleantech Finland award move on to take part in a European-wide competition. Winners will be announced in Brussels in June during Europe's Green Week.
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