08 March 2011 06:04 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Finland's Neste Oil is in the process of ramping up production rates at its new 800,000 tonne/year renewable diesel plant in Singapore, a senior company executive said on Tuesday.
The ramp-up to full capacity would depend on various factors, including feedstock prices, product margins and demand, said Matti Lehmus, executive vice president of oil products and renewables at the refining company.
Lehmus was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the new plant in Tuas, Singapore, on Monday.
The company declined to reveal the plant's current operating rates or when it would be able to reach full production capacity.
"Given that this is a specialty product, we need to see how legislation is developing and how our margins are developing," he said.
"We would like to ramp up as soon as possible but it would be dependent on these factors," Lehmus added.
The plant, which cost around €550m ($764m) to build, produces NExBTL renewable diesel from a feedstock mix of palm oil, stearin and palm fatty acid distillate from southeast Asia, as well as animal fat imported from Australia and New Zealand, Matti Lievonen, president and CEO of Neste, said during the inauguration.
The main markets for NExBTL renewable diesel are Europe and America, Lievonen said, and the company is targeting to include Asia at a later date.
Neste Oil is contructing a similar-sized NExBTL facility in Rotterdam, which is due to be commissioned in the middle of this year.
The company already operates two renewable diesel plants that came on stream at Porvoo in Finland in 2007 and 2009 with a combined capacity of 380,000 tonnes/year, the company said in a statement.
The firm's overall production capacity is expected to grow to 2m tonnes/year once the plant in Rotterdam starts up, it said.
($1 = €0.72)
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