Rotterdam, The Netherlands – Neste Oil has officially opened the largest renewable diesel refinery in Europe. The refinery, in Rotterdam, started up in September 2011 to produce the company’s NExBTL renewable diesel.

The refinery, which cost €670 million to build, has an annual production capacity of one billion litres, enough for more than half a million cars to run continuously on pure NExBTL. The company said that the emissions benefit of the refinery’s output will be the equivalent of removing more than 250,000 cars from the road, reducing greenhouse gases by a total of over 1.5 million tons annually. The plant is also capable of producing renewable aviation fuel in the future.

The refinery is capable of using a wide feedstock base, including vegetable oils, byproducts of vegetable oil refining, waste oils and fats, and future feedstocks such as algae oil. Neste is involved in developing technologies and processes for growing microalgae on an industrial scale as a raw material for use in fuel, food and chemical production, and last week announced its intention to build a pilot plant to produce waste-based microbial oil, to be used in manufacturing renewable fuel, at its refinery in Finland.

Neste said that its main targets for NExBTL are in Europe and North America. It also has a facility in Singapore and two renewable diesel plants in Finland.

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