Shell is to build an 820,000 tpa biofuels facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam in the Netherlands to produce fuels such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel from waste.
The plant will use Shell’s advanced production methods to produce low carbon fuels from used cooking oil, waste animal fat and other industrial and agricultural residual products. Certified sustainable vegetable oils will supplement the waste feedstocks, and Shell has pledged not to use virgin palm oil. About half of the plant’s output will be SAF.
The facility will capture the carbon emissions from the production process for storage in an empty gas field under the North Sea through the Porthos carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, which aims to capture up to 2.5 million tpa of CO2 from 2024 from a range of companies in the Rotterdam area. A final investment decision for Porthos is expected next year.
Shell says that the plant will help it meet is goal of becoming a net zero energy business by 2050, as well as helping the Netherlands and Europe meet its binding emissions reduction targets. There is increasing demand for low carbon fuels from sectors which are difficult to decarbonise, such as heavy road transport and aviation.
‘Shell has been on the road to a lower-carbon future for some time. This investment is an important step as we transform the Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam from a traditional refinery into a sustainable energy park. The project will mean hundreds of millions of dollars of investment each year during construction, it will create hundreds of jobs, and help to maintain the facility’s competitiveness for years to come,’ says Marjan van Loon, president director of Shell Netherlands.
The decision to build the biofuels facility is part of Shell’s ongoing strategy to reduce its refining portfolio to a smaller set of five core integrated energy and chemicals sites. The Powering Progress strategy is aimed to reduce Shell’s global fossil fuel production by 55% by 2030. The company launched the Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland, Germany, in July 2021, which includes a hydrogen electrolysis plant and will support energy transition technology research. The company has sold its stake in the 220,000 PCK Schwedt refinery in Brandenburg, Germany, to Alcmene, and the Mobile Chemical LP Refinery in Alabama, US, to Vertex Energy. HollyFrontier bought the Puget Sound refinery in Washington, US, while Pemex unexpectedly bought out Shell’s share of the Deer Park refinery in Texas, US.