Major sustainable fuel producer Neste has finally greenlit a long-discussed expansion project at its Rotterdam refinery. Requiring an outlay of approximately $231 million, the expansion, which is expected to be completed by mid-2023, will add another 500,000 tons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) a year to the plant’s annual capacity.
Neste’s current output capacity for SAF is 100,000 tons a year, but combined with upgrades underway at the company’s Singapore production facility, that total is expected to increase more than tenfold—to 1.5 million tons—each year by the end of 2023. There is certainly room for growth in the field, as SAF accounted for just 0.01 percent of all fuel used by the aviation industry in 2019. The SAF component of the blended Neste fuel can offer an up to 80 percent lifecycle carbon-emissions reduction over the same volume of conventional jet fuel it replaces.
“We have made a commitment to support our customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20 million tons by 2030,” said Peter Vanacker, president and CEO of the Finland-based fuel supplier, citing SAF’s considerable potential in that arena. “As the aviation industry is likely to resume on a growth trajectory after its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a growing need and urgency to act on aviation-related emissions.”