Finnish renewable diesel and sustainable jet fuel producer Neste is set to acquire a refinery in Rotterdam from global agribusiness giant Bunge for €258M (US$306M), the companies announced on 3 November.

A Bunge Loders Croklaan (BLC) joint venture, the refinery plant is located next to Neste’s existing biorefinery and comprises a pre-treatment facility, tank farm, jetties and has a pipeline connection to Neste’s site.

A transition will be implemented in phases with the refinery plant’s full pre-treatment capacity available for processing Neste’s feedstock by the end of 2024.

“The acquisition of the refinery plant supports our global growth strategy in renewables. It allows us to accelerate the scaling up of our renewable raw material pre-treatment capacity, which is an important driver for expanding the use of waste and residue feedstocks and increasing our feedstock flexibility,” said Neste president and CEO Peter Vanacker.

Neste was committed to increasing the share of waste and residues in its renewables feedstock mix to 100% by 2025, Vanacker added.

The transaction was expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.

Bunge said it would lease back the facility from Neste in a phased transition through 2024 to ensure continued supplies to its customers.

“This transaction supports our long-term strategy in value-added oils and oilseeds-based ingredients by enabling us to further enhance our footprint in an innovative and sustainable way,” said Bunge’s CEO Greg Heckman.

St Louis-based Bunge operates 350 port terminals, oilseed processing plants, grain facilities, and food and ingredient production and packaging facilities worldwide.

Global producer and supplier of plant-based speciality oils and fats for the food manufacturing industry, BLC operates as the edible oils business of Bunge.

Neste said it would be expanding its renewables annual production capacity from 3.2M to 4.5M tonnes by the first quarter of 2023, with 1.3M tonnes provided from the expansion of its Singapore facility.

The acquisition of the Rotterdam refinery offered further pre-treatment capacity and terminal infrastructure to handle the increasingly complex waste and residue feedstocks, and supported further growth in production capacity beyond 2023, the company said.

Neste has been active in the Netherlands since 2011 when the Rotterdam facility for renewable products started operation.

Earlier in 2020, the company acquired a terminal in Rotterdam for storing, refining and blending renewable waste and residue-based raw materials.

In 2019, Neste opened a new office in Hoofddorp, in greater Amsterdam, which serves as the global hub for its renewable aviation business.