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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Galp, Mitsui to establish joint venture for renewable diesel, SAF production in Portugal

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

Photo: Galp

Japan-based Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Galp, Portugal’s largest energy company and the country’s only oil refiner, announced Sept. 25 that Mitsui will invest in a renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production business operated by Galp at its Sines refinery in the district of Setubal, Portugal.

A joint-venture company in which Galp will own 75 percent and Mitsui 25 percent of its shares will be established once clearance from the necessary authorities is obtained.

The plant, to be scaled at nearly 90 million gallons per year, will use Axens technology, according to Galp.

Galp added that the consortium Technip Energies/Technoedif Engenharia has been selected as the main engineering, procurement and construction-management (EPCM) provider.

Total investment in the new plant is estimated at 400 million euros (nearly USD$424 million).

According to Mitsui, the project will involve the construction of facilities within the Sines refinery and will be capable of switching between renewable diesel and SAF production modes.

The new facility is expected to produce its first volumes of renewable diesel by the end of 2025, with full commercial operation in 2026.

According to Galp, the project will combine its market and operational synergies with Mitsui’s global presence.

Mitsui will also support procurement of the plant’s feedstock needs.

In addition to the renewable diesel and SAF project at the Sines refinery, Galp has made a final investment decision on the production of green hydrogen at the same site.

Galp will invest in the construction of a 100-megawatt (MW) electrolysis plant to produce up to 15 kilotons per year of renewable hydrogen.

This large-scale project will allow the replacement of approximately 20 percent of the existing grey-hydrogen consumption of the Sines refinery and may lead to a 110,000-ton reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions per year.

The electrolyzers will be supplied by renewable power under long-term supply agreements and will leverage Galp’s renewable power asset base.

The unit will use industrial recycled water, according to Galp, with expected annual consumption representing less than 3 percent of the average annual needs of the refinery.

Plug Power was awarded the order for the 100 MW proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers, while Technip Energies will be the main EPCM provider.

The total investment for the green-hydrogen project is estimated at 250 million euros (nearly USD$265 million).

“These projects are some of the largest of their kind, representing an overall investment of 650 million euros,” said Paula Amorim, chair of Galp. “This is a significant contribution to the launch of the new industries of the future in Portugal, placing Galp at the forefront of the development of low-carbon solutions necessary for the energy transition. The decisions are based on the expectation that the fiscal and regulatory developments in Portugal will not hinder the success of such large-scale investments.”

Commencement of green-hydrogen production is expected in 2025.


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