Finnish renewable fuels producer Neste is looking to locate its next renewables products refinery in Rotterdam, the company announced on 15 March.

In March 2020, the company said it was planning to increase its renewable products production capacity in Europe. As part of that strategy, Neste looked at two locations where it has existing sites – Porvoo, in Finland, and Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.

Following a study phase, Neste concluded that although both sites had positives, the cost difference was significantly in favour of Rotterdam.

“Based on the thorough studies and calculations, the overall cost of the investment is significantly lower in Rotterdam. Our decision relies on ensuring our future competitiveness and our renewables’ growth strategy execution”, said Neste president and CEO Peter Vanacker.

The criteria for site selection included current markets and regulatory framework supporting market growth, raw material sourcing opportunities, investment and operating costs, infrastructure and low carbon utilities as well as local synergies and incentives.

Neste said the key aspects leading to the price difference were logistics costs, site-specific construction costs and availability of low-carbon hydrogen supply.

The Porvoo site was also more complex, Neste said, leading to a higher execution risk level and a longer construction schedule.

Meanwhile, Rotterdam benefited from the proximity of new markets for renewable aviation and renewable polymers and chemicals as well as proximity to raw material sources.

Neste said it was planning to make a final investment decision towards the end of this year or early 2022.

The company is also investing in Finland, and in the Porvoo site, driven by its commitment to reach carbon neutral production by 2035. Finland is also the company’s research, development and innovation hub.

Neste refines waste, residues and raw materials into renewable fuels and sustainable feedstock for plastics and other materials.