Sustainable Fuels

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European supermajor Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed it is building an 820,000 ton/yr hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) biofuels facility making sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel at its Pernis refinery site near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Due to start production in 2024, the plant at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam will make advanced biofuels from used cooking oil, waste animal fat and other industrial and agricultural residual products. Shell warned these will be supplemented by a range of “certified sustainable” vegetable oils, such as rapeseed, “until more sustainable advanced feedstocks are more widely available.” The plant will not however use more controversial virgin palm oil. Shell said SAF could make up more than half of the plant’s production on start-up with the proportion able to shift to meet consumer demand. Carbon dioxide emissions from the biofuel manufacturing process will also be captured and stored in an empty gas field beneath the North Sea through the Porthos project. A final investment decision for Porthos is expected next year. "Today’s announcement is a key part of the transformation of one of our major refineries into an energy and chemicals park, which will supply customers with the low-carbon products they want and need,” said Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s Downstream Director Sep. 16 when the final investment decision was announced.

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