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British multinational oil and gas company bp is planning to restructure its Gelsenkirchen site in Germany to produce lower-emission fuels including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Following a gradual conversion, the site would be fully adapted by the end of the decade, bp said on 6 March.

bp operates two plants in Horst and Scholven in Gelsenkirchen as an integrated refinery and petrochemical site.

The plants produce approximately 12M tonnes/year of crude oil. In addition to petrol, diesel, jet fuel and heating oil, the site produces more than 50 different products, primarily for the chemical industry.

“Our refinery location in Gelsenkirchen is currently not competitive. We are too complex and – not only because of this – burdened with structural costs that are too high,” Arno Appel, head of the refinery in Gelsenkirchen, said.

“We want to give the Gelsenkirchen location a perspective and greater potential for its contributions to the energy transition.”

To prepare the refineries for the transition, bp said it needed to reduce the site’s complexity and shut down parts of the plant which would need to used less in the future.

As a first step, the five systems in the Horst and Scholven plants would be decommissioned from 2025, bp said on 6 March.

This could lead to a planned and controlled reduction in the site’s total production capacity from 12M tonnes/year of crude oil to approximately 8M tonnes/year, the company said.

In addition, bp said it planned to produce lower-emission fuels – including SAF – using co-processing in the hydrocracker plant at the Gelsenkirchen-Scholven site, subject to appropriate approvals.

The company said it was also looking into setting up a circular economy network at the refinery with a partner.