Prior to the Christmas holiday, the oil refining company In this made a significant announcement. They revealed plans to invest a staggering 2.5 billion euros in the transformation of their Porvoon refinery. The primary focus of this investment will be the refinement of renewable fuels and the implementation of circular economy solutions. They aim to accomplish this by the mid-2030s, marking a major shift in the sector.
Simultaneously, the company will be phasing out its dependence on traditional oil refining. Instead, they will be focusing on the utilization of waste and residue as raw materials. This includes a wide range of sources such as slaughterhouse waste, used frying oils from restaurants, and leftover residue from vegetable oil production. This marks a significant step in sustainable practices for the company.
Neste’s approach is bolstered by its strengths in managing renewable raw material chains. This proficiency will play a crucial role in the success of their new initiatives.
As the company’s production capacity expands in the future, so will its sources of raw materials. The company is actively seeking new raw materials, some of which include forest residues, oils derived from algae, and new oil plants.
“Our goal is to increase our raw material capabilities and expand our base of raw materials,” states Matti Lehmus, CEO of Neste.
Lehmus emphasizes that the shift in strategy at Porvoo is a long-term direction that will necessitate multiple investment decisions. It’s not a change that will happen overnight, but rather a gradual transformation.
“We will be making individual investment decisions along the way, and a more precise schedule will become clear as we progress,” Lehmus explains.
The first investment as part of this shift is already underway. Last year, the company began an investment of 111 million euros in a plant for processing liquefied waste plastic.
The plant is designed to produce raw materials for new plastic products, among other things. It is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2025.
“We are also currently investigating the potential of a green hydrogen project,” Lehmus shares.
If implemented, the plant would produce hydrogen from water using a process called electrolysis. This process uses renewable electricity to break down water molecules, replacing the need for hydrogen made from fossil raw materials. This would significantly reduce production emissions.
Neste has stated that they will be making a decision regarding this potential hydrogen investment sometime this year.