Neste Oil adds biopropane production to Rotterdam biorefinery

By Erin Voegele | September 24, 2014

Finland-based Neste Oil has announced plans to add biopropane production capabilities to its biorefinery in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Construction of the €60 million ($77.07 million) project is expected to begin immediately, with biopropane sales commencing in 2016. Once operational, the unit is expected to have the capacity to produce 30,000-40,000 tons per year of biopropane.

Information released by Neste Oil indicates that the new unit will purify and separate biopropane from the sidestream gases produced at the Rotterdam facility. That gas is currently sold as fuel for use in a power plant. The biopropane unit is expected to significantly increase the added value of sidestream gases.

Neste Oil broke ground on the Rotterdam renewable diesel facility in 2009. The plant began operations in September 2011 and has the capacity to produce 800,000 tons per year of NEXBTL renewable diesel. The company operates a similar NEXBTL refinery in Singapore.

In early August, Neste Oil released its interim report for the first half of the year. In that report, the company noted that sales volumes of renewable products were high during the first six months of the year, reaching 566,000 tons. According to Neste Oil, its NEXBTL renewable diesel refineries operated at high utilization rates. In addition, the use of waste and residues increased to 66 percent of total renewable inputs.

The company’s comparable operating profit for the first half of the year was €140 million, with second quarter comparable operating profit reaching €85 million. The company’s renewable products segment recorded a comparable operating profit of €31 million, compared to €33 million during the same quarter of 2013.