Neste Oils mulls jet fuel facility at Singapore plant

06 March 2009 08:11  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Finland’s Neste Oil is considering building an additional distillation column at its new 800,000 tonne/year renewable diesel facility in Singapore, in order to manufacture bio-jet fuel, senior company executives said on Friday.

Construction of the plant, located at Jurong Island, is scheduled to be over by end-June 2010 while 30% of the works have already been completed, president and CEO Matti Lievonen said at the official foundation stone laying ceremony of the facility on Friday.

Jarmo Honkamaa, the company’s deputy CEO, pointed out that "the technology (to manufacture biodiesel) will perfectly work for jet fuel production", and added that while the plant was not designed for making the product, the company could build another distillation column at "not a very big investment" to manufacture jet fuel if demand warranted it.

Honkamaa added that while Neste Oil was having discussions with several airline companies at the moment, the high cost of renewable product compared to conventional fossil fuels was a challenge.

"This product is much more expensive than diesel or jet fuel, so we need mandates on biofuels or some other mechanisms to finance it," Honkamaa said.

The plant, which could consume up to 1 m tonnes of feedstock vegetable/tallow oil per year, is expected to begin full operations by the end of the third quarter of 2010, and would hire around 100 people, said Lievonen.

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By: Jeremiah Chan
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