Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) is set to build a new biofuels facility in Rotterdam, the company announced on 16 September.

The 820,000 tonnes/year plant will be built at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, formerly known as the Pernis refinery.

Upon completion, the facility would be among the biggest in Europe to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel made from waste, the company said.

“Today’s announcement is a key part of the transformation of one of our major refineries into an energy and chemicals park,” Shell’s downstream director Huibert Vigeveno said.

The Rotterdam biofuels facility was due to become operational in 2024 and would produce low-carbon fuels such as renewable diesel from waste in the form of used cooking oil (UCO), waste animal fat and other industrial and agricultural residual products, the company said.

A range of certified sustainable vegetable oils, such as rapeseed, would supplement the waste feedstocks until even more sustainable advanced feedstocks were widely available, Shell said, adding that the facility would not use virgin palm oil as feedstock.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) could make up more than half of the 820,000 tonnes/year capacity, with the rest being renewable diesel, the company said, with the mix adjusted to meet customer demand.

As part of its Powering Progress strategy, Shell said it was transforming its refineries (which totalled 14 in October 2020) into five energy and chemicals parks.

The company said it was aiming to reduce the production of traditional fuels by 55% by 2030 and provide more low-carbon fuels such as biofuels for road transport and aviation, and hydrogen. The Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam was the second park to be announced, following the launch in July of Shell’s Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland, in Germany.