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Neste invests 1.4b euros, builds new Singapore plant

Move to increase biofuel production capacity is based on growing global market demand for low-carbon solutions

Illustration of Neste's new plant, next to its existing facility in Tuas. The new plant has a production capacity of up to 1.3 million tonnes per annum and will have 100 new employees.


FINNISH energy giant Neste revealed on Wednesday that it will pump 1.4 billion euros (S$2.2 billion) to increase its biofuel production capacity in Singapore by up to 1.3 million tonnes per annum.

It is the single biggest investment in Neste's history, president and chief executive Peter Vanacker told media at a webcast briefing from Finland.

"The decision is based on a growing global market demand for low-carbon solutions," he said.

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"We are already a global leader in renewable products produced from waste and residues. This investment marks an important step in the execution of our profitable growth strategy globally," he said.

Neste will build a new plant here with a production capacity of up to 1.3 million tonnes per annum. The new production line will begin in 2022 and will have 100 new employees. Over 6,000 people will be employed for the construction process which will start in 2019.

It will be located next to another existing Neste facility in Tuas, which currently hires 120 people. The S$1.2 billion existing facility went onstream in 2010 and has a capacity of one million tonnes per annum. The plants take up 19 ha each.

Khalil A Bakar, deputy director, Energy & Resources, Singapore Economic Development Board, said: "With a growing demand for cleaner fuels globally, our partnership with Neste will be important in helping us combat climate change, whilst growing the energy industry and our overall economy in a competitive and sustainable manner."

When the new plant becomes operational in 2022, Neste's biofuel production capacity in Singapore from both plants will reach up to 2.3 million tonnes per year.

All of Neste's plants produce renewable diesel, renewable aviation fuel and raw materials for various polymers and chemicals materials, the company said in a statement.

The investment will also go towards beefing up its logistics and raw material pretreatment capabilities at the existing plant.

Raw material pretreatment is a process by which low-quality waste and residue raw materials are treated before the refining process.

Neste, which is 44.75 per cent owned by the state of Finland, also produces biofuels in the Netherlands and Finland. It also has conventional oil refining operations in Finland.

By 2022, when the new Singapore plant opens, Neste expects the total renewable product capacity to hit close to 4.5 million tonnes annually, from 2.7 million tonnes currently.

It announced last December the decision to build its new plant in Singapore instead of the United States. The investment quantum was not disclosed then.