Finnish sustainable fuels producer Neste decided on 12 December to locate its planned new renewable diesel, renewable aviation fuel and biochemical raw materials production capacity in Singapore.

The decision by its board of directors would initiate technical design of the new production line with the aim to make the final investment decision by the end of 2018, Neste said in a statement.

The company was planning to start production by 2022 should the project proceed as planned.

The new production line would extend Neste’s current 1M tonne production capacity in Singapore by another 1M tonnes and would include an enhanced pre-treatment unit for using increasingly poor quality waste materials.

“There were two equally good locations for the refinery, the USA and Singapore,” said Kaisa Hietala, head of Neste Renewable Products.

“We investigated the strengths of both potential operating environments and also revisited our outlooks for raw materials and demand. Based on this overall assessment, we settled on Singapore,” she added.

Neste’s current worldwide renewable diesel production capacity was 2.6M tonnes, of which about 1M was in Singapore; another 1M tonnes in Rotterdam, Netherlands; and the rest in Porvoo, Finland.

The company said that by eliminating bottlenecks, it could increase the total capacity to 3M tonnes by 2020.

Neste is the world's largest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and residues and it also develops renewable solutions for the aviation and plastics industries.