Shell’s Rotterdam biofuels plant to begin operations in latter half of decade


Shell announced that its Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam will begin producing biofuels (sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel) by the latter half of the decade.

The plant, which will be capable for producing 820,000 tonnes of biofuels, is part of Shell’s Energy Transition Strategy, and will be derived entirely from waste materials.

This significant investment by Shell is a major step towards reducing carbon emissions in the aviation industry.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) could account for more than half of the plant’s biofuels capacity, with the rest being renewable diesel. Shell can adjust this mix to meet changing customer demand. SAF currently accounts for less than 0.1% of global aviation fuel. Shell’s investment will help increase SAF production, which is vital if aviation is to cut carbon emissions.

To bolster their biofuel production capabilities, Shell has made strategic downstream investments in the biofuel feedstock sector.

In 2022, the Dutch energy firm acquired EcoOils, a waste recycling company renowned for producing advanced biofuel feedstock at its Malaysian and Indonesian facilities. This acquisition will ensure the production and supply of low-carbon fuels, including SAF, to Shell’s customers.

Additionally, Shell acquired a 30% stake in Investancia Group, an agroforestry company, in 2022. Through this partnership, Shell and Investancia are planting pongamia oil trees on degraded cattle land in Paraguay to cultivate sustainable feedstock for biofuel production.

Shell sees SAF as a key player in reducing aviation emissions and is focusing on multiple production pathways.

The company is working on HEFA, green hydrogen and synthetic kerosene pathways to produce SAF. Meanwhile, the company has also invested in LanzaTech, which uses sustainable ethanol to create SAF, further diversify their production options.