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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Shell to make renewable diesel, SAF at Rotterdam refinery

Photo: Photographic Services, Shell International Ltd.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is moving forward with building an 820,000 metric-ton (approximately 275 million-gallon) per year renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, formerly known as the Pernis refinery.

The company will use certified-sustainable vegetable oil feedstocks such as rapeseed to supplement recycled inputs like used cooking oil and animal fats until it can secure enough waste material to produce renewable diesel and SAF solely from recycled and advanced feeds. Shell stated it will not use virgin palm oil.

A year ago, Shell had 14 refineries, according to the company, which is in the process of converting its current portfolio into just five “energy and chemical parks.” One such site is the Rotterdam complex while another is in Germany.

The decision to move forward with the renewable diesel and SAF project in Rotterdam 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,” said Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s downstream director.

Shell will use its own technology to manufacture renewable diesel and SAF. It stated SAF may make up more than half of the volume produced on-site, which the company can adjust based on customer demand.

Biobased diesel production is slated to begin in 2024.

The complex may use carbon capture and storage (CCS), in which carbon emissions from manufacturing will be captured and stored in an empty gas field beneath the North Sea. A final investment decision on the CCS project is expected next year.

Shell stated it intends to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.


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