Finland's Neste plans US$1.8b Rotterdam biofuel refinery

[HELSINKI] Finnish biofuel producer and oil refiner Neste has chosen the Dutch port of Rotterdam for its next renewable products refinery, it said on Monday.

The new plant will be around the same size as the 1.5 billion euro (S$2.4 billion) refinery expansion it is currently building in Singapore, which the company described as its biggest investment so far.

The Rotterdam refinery, if it goes ahead, will be similar to one Neste is building in Singapore in terms of investment costs, production capacity and manufactured products, chief executive Peter Vanacker told Reuters.

"Let's say Singapore is a blueprint." The Singapore expansion is estimated at 1.5 billion euros.

The Singapore unit produces renewable fuels for road and air transportation as well as renewable hydrocarbon for polymers and chemicals, mainly from waste and residues such as used cooking oil, animal fat from food industry and residues from vegetable oil processing.

Neste said it expects to make a final investment decision in late 2021 or early 2022. Mr Vanacker told Reuters that the company is closely monitoring regulation on greenhouse gas emissions.

"These are big investments so you have to be able to sell large volumes for example to the aviation industry that is now being discussed and we're participating in those discussions,"he said.

Significantly lower costs were the reason Rotterdam was chosen as the location for a European refinery over Finland's Porvoo, Mr Neste said.

The decision will come as a disappointment to the Finnish government which owns 44.2 per cent of the company and had hoped the new refinery would bring jobs and tax income to Finland.



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