Sunday, May 1, 2011

Neste Oil goes online with 2.000.000 t per year capacity

Neste Oil from Finland has for some years operated a biodiesel plant in Finland employing a unique technology NExBTL. The technology is unlike the normal FAME transesterification and seems to be quite smart. Neste opened in March their new plant in Singapore of 800.000 t/a capacity and a similar plant in Rotterdam is to follow mid 2011. this is on to of the existing almost 400.000 t/a year capacity in Finland.  According to Neste the two new plants are to run on a mix of palm oil, tallow and rape oil. But think about the scale of these plants...

2 M t/a of palm oil and tallow, how much is that? annual production of palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia, the worlds largest producers by far is around 45 M t/a and world production of tallow is appr. 8 M t/y, so Neste will be taking care of a significant chunk of world production. Remember that palm is also an important source of  food, feed and feedstock for the oleochemical industry (soap and technical applications) and also tallow is an important feedstock for the oleochemical industry. In my opinion Neste is on the wrong track. They are going to significantly affect the world balance of oil raw material, and good feedstock should not be used for biodiesel, when it can be used for and is displacing other more vital and necessary applications. This is clearly not sustainable.. no wonder Neste is busy claiming how sustainable they will be in the future:,41,540,2384,7906,16306 But as we know Jatropha oil is nothing but a future mirage so far, and microbial and algae oil is also still hopes at best. So for the foreseeable future I assume they will stick to palm and tallow. It will be interesting to see if they are able to consolidate these volumes and how this will affect world prices.

Greenpeace have their own way of communicating about the same theme:

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