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  • Ron Kotrba

Argent Energy to expand Amsterdam biodiesel plant by 440%

Argent Energy's biodiesel plant in the Port of Amsterdam (Photo: Argent Energy)

Biodiesel producer Argent Energy is significantly expanding its second-generation biodiesel plant in the Port of Amsterdam from 30 million gallons per year (mgy) to 162 mgy, an impressive 440 percent increase. Dickon Posnett, director of corporate affairs with Argent Energy, told Biobased Diesel Daily that, subject to receiving the necessary permits, Argent Energy plans to begin construction by the end of this June with the goal of being in production sometime late summer or early fall of next year.

The company, which has manufacturing capacity in the U.K. and the Netherlands, says it wants to make a big contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in heavy-duty road and maritime transport—the hard-to-decarbonize sectors.

Argent Energy uses designated waste feedstock for second-generation biodiesel production, and its expansion in Amsterdam includes “the development of a new and innovative production process, which will bring improved process efficiency and even greater reductions of GHG emissions,” the company stated. Posnett couldn't comment about the new process or which technology provider will be implementing it during the plant expansion.

Argent Energy has been producing biodiesel made from waste organic fats and oils since 2005. In 2018, adding to its plants in England and Scotland, the company invested in a biodiesel facility in Amsterdam’s Western Docklands.

The plant expansion in Amsterdam is also in line with the Dutch coalition agreement’s plans for clean mobility and the promotion of biofuels that avoid impacting food supplies.

According to the Dutch coalition agreement, achieving climate ambitions will be one of the new cabinet’s priorities. The Netherlands wants to be an EU leader in mitigating global warming, according to Argent Energy, and the country has set its CO2-reduction target at 60 percent in 2030. The coalition agreement contains plans for cleaner mobility and the promotion of biofuels through blending. Argent’s expansion plans correspond well with the cabinet’s ambitions of sustainability, according to the company, since the use of waste-based biodiesel emits up to 90 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than the use of conventional diesel over the lifecycles of the fuels.

Amsterdam also has aggressive ambitions to be climate neutral by 2050. According to the “Roadmap Amsterdam Climate Neutral 2050,” the city will have reduced its CO2 emissions by 55 percent in 2030 and 95 percent in 2050. The use of biofuels in transport will make an important contribution to achieving this goal.

“Clean mobility is a vitally important link to achieving climate targets,” said Erik Rietkerk, CEO of Argent Energy, in a press-release statement. “The Netherlands has a strong record in supporting the use of the most sustainable biodiesel and with the expansion of its production capacity, Argent Energy can make a significant contribution to the Dutch, Amsterdam and European ambitions for decarbonization of transport.”

In December, the Port of Amsterdam announced how it and Argent Energy were jointly investing 20 million euros in port facilities, making it possible to substantially scale up the production of sustainable transportation fuels.

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