Rotterdam biofuels facility is designed to process biofuels from wastes such as used cooking oil, animal fat and other residues, to produce low-carbon fuels


The biofuels facility is planned to start production in 2024. (Credit: Carlos Rivadeneira/Pixabay)

Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) has reached a final investment decision to build a large-scale biofuels facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The Rotterdam facility is designed to process 820,000 tonnes per annum of biofuels from wastes such as used cooking oil, animal fat and other residual products.

It will produce low-carbon fuels, which help to meet growing demand from the transport sector, including hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as heavy road transport and aviation.

The facility is planned to start production in 2024, initially processing certified sustainable vegetable oils as feedstocks, until more sustainable waste feedstocks are widely available.

Shell has designed the facility to use advanced techniques for the manufacturing of fuels.

It is expected to capture carbon emissions from the manufacturing process and store them in an empty gas field beneath the North Sea, through the Porthos project.

Shell downstream director Huibert Vigeveno said: “Today’s announcement is a key part of the transformation of one of our major refineries into an energy and chemicals park, which will supply customers with the low-carbon products they want and need.”

Apart from helping Shell in meeting its own net-zero goal for 2050, the new facility will help Netherlands and the remaining Europe to meet their targets for emissions reduction.

The facility will produce adequate renewable diesel to offset 2,800,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum, the equivalent of taking more than one million cars off the roads.

Under its Powering Progress strategy, Shell is consolidating its refineries into five energy and chemicals parks, to reduce traditional fuels production and offer more low-carbon fuels.

The Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam marks the second park, following the launch of Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland, in Germany.

Shell said that Rotterdam facility will become one of the biggest plants in Europe to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel made from waste.

Shell Netherlands BV president, director Marjan van Loon said: “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.”