EPA approves RFS fuel pathway filed by Texmark, Neste

By Erin Voegele | October 16, 2019

The U.S. EPA recently approved a Renewable Fuel Standard fuel pathway filed on behalf of Texmark Chemicals Inc. and Neste US Inc. that will allow renewable diesel produced at Neste’s biorefinery in Porvoo, Finland, to be shipped to Texmark’s facility in Galena Park, Texas, where it will be fractionated to produce renewable jet fuel and renewable diesel bottoms.

The pathway approval, dated Sept. 23, was posted to the EPA’s website in early October.

Neste produces renewable diesel at its Porvoo site by hydotreating biogenic waste fat, oil and grease (FOG) feedstock. The company generates D4 renewable identification numbers (RINs) for that fuel. Under the newly approved pathway, Texmark will purchase renewable diesel produced at the Porvoo facility with RINs attached, retire the attached RINs, fractionate Neste’s renewable diesel at its facility in Galena Park, and generate new D4 RINs for the resulting renewable jet fuel and renewable diesel bottoms.

The renewable diesel bottoms produced through the fractionation process is similar to renewable diesel and is used in the same applications. The fuel, however, has a higher average energy density than the renewable diesel input into the fractionation process.

After factoring in lifecycle emissions, including transportation costs, the EPA estimates renewable jet fuel and renewable diesel bottoms produced via the newly approved pathway will achieve a 77 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission relative to a 2005 diesel baseline.

A Neste spokesperson was unable to disclose the exact volume of biofuel expected to be produced via the new Texmark-Neste pathway or the proportion of renewable jet fuel and renewable diesel bottoms produced through the fractionation process. The spokesperson did, however, note that Neste already works with other partners to fractionate its renewable diesel into renewable jet fuel and renewable diesel bottoms and estimated the company currently has the capacity to produce approximately 100,000 metric tons of renewable jet fuel annually in the U.S. and Europe.

The spokesperson also indicated Neste plans to continue to work with partners to grow the production renewable jet fuel. At the same time, the spokesperson said Neste continues to invest in expanding its own production capacity. A second production line at its Singapore facility is expected to start up in the first half of 2022. Once that expansion is operational, Neste will have the capacity to produce approximately 4.5 million metric tons of renewable fuel annually, including 1 million tons of renewable jet fuel.

A full copy of the pathway approval can be downloaded from the EPA website.