Shell plans Dutch biofuels plant in retreat from refining crude

Shell logo Source: Shell

Royal Dutch Shell plc signed off on plans for a large biofuels plant in the Netherlands, stepping up investment in cleaner energy as it retreats from refining crude oil.

The Anglo-Dutch major will build an 820,000-tonne-a-year facility at its energy and chemicals park in Rotterdam, it said Thursday, without disclosing the cost of the project. Shell is shrinking its portfolio of traditional refineries in favor of lower-carbon fuels as consumers and investors demand greater action on climate change.

The biofuels plant will be among the biggest in Europe to produce sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, and renewable diesel made from waste, the company said in a statement. It expects to capture carbon emissions from the manufacturing process and store them in an empty gas field beneath the North Sea. 

Shell is reducing its number of refineries, which totalled 14 in October last year, to just a handful of energy and chemicals parks. The company aims to curb output of traditional fuels by more than half by 2030 and produce more low-carbon fuels for road transport and aviation. 

The energy giant is already working on several sustainable jet fuel projects, cooperating with Rolls-Royce Holdings plc on bringing 100 per cent SAF to certification and investing in fuel technology company LanzaJet. 

The Rotterdam biofuels facility, to be built at the site that’s also home to the Pernis oil refinery, is expected to start production in 2024.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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