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Singapore-based oil refining company Shell Eastern Petroleum, a wholly-owned subsidiary of global oil giant Shell, has acquired Malaysian bleaching earth recycler EcoOils.

The acquisition included 100% of EcoOils’ Malaysian subsidiaries and 90% of its Indonesian subsidiary, Shell said on 1 November.

Using recycling technology, EcoOils produces spent bleaching earth oil from bleaching earth, a clay material used to absorb impurities during the vegetable oil refining process.

Spent bleaching earth oil can be used as a biofuels feedstock and is recognised under Annex IXa of the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). It can also be used in other applications, such as cement, roof tiles and brick manufacturing.

With around 80 suppliers, EcoOils operates five plants with a current spent bleaching earth oil production capacity of 65,000 tonnes/year.

Shell said the acquisition was part of its plan to increase its production of low carbon fuels for transport, including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). By 2030, the company aims to increase SAF’s share of its global aviation sales to 10%.

“Shell is investing in and producing sustainable low carbon fuels for transport. This acquisition provides secure access to a recognised, advanced feedstock which can be used at Shell’s biofuels facilities to meet that aim,” Shell’s senior vice president for Low Carbon Fuels Sinead Lynch said.