Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) took a final investment decision to build an 820,000-tonnes-a-year biofuels facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, the Netherlands, formerly known as the Pernis refinery. The facility will be among the biggest in Europe to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel made from waste, according to a press release.

The new facility will help the Netherlands and the rest of Europe to meet internationally binding emissions reduction targets as it could produce enough renewable diesel to avoid 2,800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year, the equivalent of taking more than 1 million European cars off the roads. Furthermore, the facility will produce low-carbon fuels such as renewable diesel from waste in the form of used cooking oil, waste animal fat and other industrial and agricultural residual products.

As part of its Powering Progress strategy, Shell is transforming its refineries (which numbered 14 in October 2020) into five energy and chemicals parks in an attempt to provide more low-carbon fuels such as biofuels for road transport and aviation, and hydrogen. The Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam is the second park to be announced, following the launch in July of the Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland, in Germany.

In this regard, Marjan van Loon, President Director of Shell Netherlands BV said: “Shell has been on the road to a lower-carbon future for some time. This investment is an important step as we transform the Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam from a traditional refinery into a sustainable energy park.”

The Rotterdam biofuels facility is expected to start production in 2024, and SAF will make up more than half of the plant’s production.