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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: European refiners focus on renewables, move away from crude

European refiners are increasingly focusing on renewables and moving away from crude in a drive towards carbon neutrality.

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Spanish energy group Repsol will use steam biomethane reforming, or SBR, for around 30% of its targeted 2030 green hydrogen production and will raise hydrogen production by 60% compared to its previous target, the company said.

Repsol expects to reach a production capacity of 300 MW from SBR by 2030, having successfully produced its first batch earlier in the week starting Oct. 3.

The company said it used urban solid waste as raw material to produce 500 MWh of biomethane which, in turn, was used to produce 10 mt of hydrogen, avoiding the emission of about 90 mt of CO2 in the process.

As an interim target, the company expects to increase SBR capacity to 200 MW by 2025, with an investment of Eur273 million ($315 million).

The company has increased its electrolysis capacity target to 1.9 GW by 2030 from a previous target of 1.2 GW, with an interim target of 552 MW requiring an investment of Eur611 million.

The first jump is expected by 2024 or 2025 when a combined 232 MW of electrolysis capacity comes online at its three largest refineries -- Bilbao, Cartagena and Tarragona.

An additional 120 MW will be spread across an e-fuel pilot plant at Bilbao (10 MW in 2024), with 50 MW from mobility and industrial projects, 60 MW with industrial partners, along with associated offtake agreements.

The 552 MW of capacity will be supplied by 1.8 GW of renewable power, with the company estimating 3.25 MW of renewables required for each MW of electrolysis. Overall investment in renewables will be Eur700 million, Repsol estimated.

The company raised its overall renewable target to 20 GW of capacity by 2030, an increase of 60% from its previous target, with an interim target of reaching 6 GW by 2025 from 1.7 GW expected at the end of 2021.

In the refining sector, the company's aim is to produce 2 million mt/year of low carbon fuels by 2030, with an intermediate target of 1.3 million mt/year in 2025, using advanced hydrotreated vegetable oils, or HVO, which it sees as the best option to comply with low carbon legislation.

Having already produced its first biojet fuel from waste in July, the company is targeting bio marine fuel and co-processed HVO in 2022. In 2023, after bringing electrolysis online, it expects to produce advanced non-coprocessed biojet, HVO and BioC3 as well as bionaphtha, with advanced bioethanol, e-jet, e-diesel e-naphtha and bioCH4 a year later.

Its first dedicated advanced biofuels plant in Cartagena is slated for a Q1 2023 startup, saving 900,000 mt/year of CO2, according to the plan.

Meanwhile, the Livorno refinery in northwest Italy will stop refining crude and suspend all related activities by the end of 2022, according to an announcement made to trade union representatives by its owner, Italian oil giant Eni, sources close to the plant told S&P Global Platts.

The production of lubricants and ancillary activities will continue for the foreseeable future, according to the information.

Eni was not immediately available to comment.

The decision was presented as aligning with the general global move toward winding down the use of fossil fuels, the sources said.

In January, Eni said that it was evaluating the conversion of Livorno into a biorefinery.

A company source said in September that no decision had been taken yet.

UPGRADES

Gdansk
210,000
Poland
Lotos
Convent/Hydrogen
2025
Plock
326,000
Poland
PKN Orlen
Conventional
2020
Litvinov
108,000
Czech
Unipetrol
Conventional
2020
Petromidia
114,000
Romania
Rompetrol
Conventional
2022
Burgas
190,000
Bulgaria
Lukoil
Conventional
NA
Orlen Lietuva
204,000
Lithuania
PKN Orlen
Conventional
NA
Pancevo
98,000
Serbia
NIS
Conventional
2024
Rijeka
90,000
Croatia
INA
Conventional
2023
Sisak
44,000
Croatia
INA
Bioethanol
NA
Brod
108,000
Bosnia
Optima
Conventional
2020
Donges
219,000
France
Total
Conventional
2023
Grandpuits
101,000
France
Total
Renewables
2024
Antwerp
150,000
Belgium
Total
Biofuel
NA
Huelva
220,000
Spain
Cepsa
Conventional
NA
San Roque
245,000
Spain
Cepsa
Conventional
2019
Cartagena
220,000
Spain
Repsol
Biofuel
2020
Bilbao
220,000
Spain
Repsol
Hydrogen
2024
Sines
220,000
Portugal
Galp
Conventional
NA
Sines
220,000
Portugal
Galp
Renewables
NA
Haifa
197,000
Israel
Bazan Group
Expansion
NA
Corinth
180,000
Greece
Motor Oil
Conventional
2021
Kirikkale
108,000
Turkey
Tupras
Conventional
NA
Petrobrazi
90,000
Romania
Joint
Conventional
2023
Petromidia
100,000
Romania
Rompetrol
Conventional
2023
Fawley
270,000
UK
ExxonMobil
Conventional
2021
Pembroke
220,000
UK
Valero
Conventional
2021
Humber
221,000
UK
Phillips66
Renewables
2021
Grangemouth
150,000
UK
Petroineos
Renewables
2030
ISAB
321,000
Italy
Lukoil
Conventional
NA
Venice
400,000
Italy
Eni
Upgrade
Sarroch
300,000
Italy
Saras
Hydrogen
NA
Schwedt
230,000
Germany
Joint
Conventional
NA
Miro
310,000
Germany
Joint
Hydrogen
2021
Heide
90,000
Germany
Klesch
Hydrogen
NA
Lingen
96,000
Germany
BP
Hydrogen
2024
Rhineland
327,000
Germany
Shell
Hydrogen
2021
Schwechat
192,000
Austria
OMV
Biofuel
NA
Brofjorden
220,000
Sweden
Preem
Renewables
NA
Porvoo
260,000
Finland
Neste
Renewables
2023
Fredericia
70,000
Denmark
Postlane Partners
Hydrogen
2025
Rotterdam
88,000
Netherlands
Gunvor
Biofuel
NA
Pernis
404,000
Netherlands
Shell
Biofuel
NA

LAUNCHES

Porto Romano
150,000
Albania
Joint
launch
2025
Nazli
28,000
Turkey
Ersan
launch
2022
Aliaga
NA
Turkey
Steas
launch
NA

Conventional upgrades

New and revised entries

** Spain's Repsol concluded at Tarragona work to install a second reactor at one of its polypropylene production units at the site at the end of July. The upgrade, costing Eur31 million, allows one of Its units to manufacture advanced high resistance polypropylene.

** In the petrochemical unit of Spain's La Coruna, the company completed a new distillation unit to produce polymer grade propylene in April which has boosted propylene production at the refinery by 35% to reach 81,000 mt/year, it confirmed.

** A lubricant unit at the Ilboc plant alongside South Korean partner SKSol is nearing completion after it started the final phase of construction in the summer, Repsol said. The lubricants plant, near the Cartagena refinery, will see capacity increase 50% to 1 million mt/year when work is concluded.

** Poland's Grupa Lotos in September 2021 has signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract with Italy's Kinetics Technology for a hydrocracked base oil (HBO) project. The project includes the construction of a hydrocracking unit based on catalytic dewaxing and hydrotreating processes under license from Chevron Lummus Global, along with feedstock and product tanks, interconnecting pipelines and a power supply station. Existing facilities will also be upgraded in the project, which is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2025. The company continues work to replace the furnaces to improve the efficiency of the hydrogen sulfide combustion unit, which is due to be completed in early 2023.

** Orlen Unipetrol will expand the steam cracker at its Litvinov refinery to boost petrochemical production. The company said a new steam cracker furnace will be built by Technip Energies and be commissioned in 2022.

The steam cracker, in Zaluzi near Litvinov, was commissioned in 1979 and comprises 10 cracking furnaces. It has production capacity of 545,000 mt/year of ethylene. The construction of an eleventh furnace will boost that capacity to 585,000 mt/y.

PKN Orlen has completed the Czech Crown 9.6 billion ($410 million) polyethylene 3 unit investment at Litvinov. The refinery's owner, Unipetrol, a 100%-owned PKN subsidiary, has now taken charge of the black polyethylene unit, the second part of the investment. The first part, the natural polyethylene unit, was completed in April 2020. The polyethylene 3 unit, which can produce 270,000 mt/y of high density polyethylene, will replace production of one of the two existing production units with a capacity of 120,000 mt/y. Litvinov's polyethylene capacity will increase from 320,000 mt/y to 470,000 mt/y.

PKN Orlen was launching construction of a unit at its Orlen Unipetrol-branded Litvinov refinery in the Czech Republic to produce up to 26,000 mt/year of dicyclopentadiene, or DCPC, used in the automotive, construction and electronic industries. The unit is planned to be completed in the second half of 2022. DCPC is a liquid hydrocarbon created during the refining and cracking of crude oil.

Separately, Separately, McDermott International has been awarded a contract for engineering, procurement and construction management services for an upgrade of the hydrocracker at the Litvinov refinery.

Existing entries

** Poland's PKN Orlen said in July that it had bought a license and base design from US engineering company KBR for a potential bottom-of-the-barrel project. If PKN takes a final investment decision, it will construct a production complex using solvent de-asphalting and fluid catalytic cracking technologies. Separately, PKN Orlen laid the foundation stone in 2020 to build a visbreaking unit at its Plock refinery. The unit is being built by a consortium of KTI Poland and IDS-BEU under a turnkey contract. It will be completed by the end of 2022. The unit will have a capacity to produce 200,000 mt/year of diesel.

Ongoing modernization of the hydrocracking and diesel hydrodesulfurization units at Plock will also increase the refinery's diesel production capacity. PKN Orlen has purchased a license and basic design for the modernization of a hydrodesulfurization (HOG) unit. PKN signed a contract to buy the license from Axens. The HOG unit at Plock was launched in 1999.

PKN Orlen has also signed an EPC contract for the construction of an olefins complex expansion at its Plock refinery. The Olefins III complex will be built by a consortium of Hyundai Engineering Co., and Tecnicas Reunidas. Construction work on the complex is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2024, to enable commissioning at the start of 2025.

** The cogeneration project at UK's Pembroke is "on track" to be completed in the third quarter of 2021. In 2016, Valero submitted a planning application to build a 45 MW combined heat and power generation plant at Pembroke, which will provide power to the refinery and supplement its steam demand.

** Turkish construction group Tekfen Insaat said that together with partner HMB Hallesche Mitteldeutsche Bau AG it had signed an EPC contract with Turkey's main refiner Tupras for the construction of a new sulfur recovery unit at the Kirikkale refinery. Tekfen said the project would take 36 months to complete. It did not say when work was expected to start. Tupras' upgrade plans for its four refineries include new sulfur units at its three main refineries, Izmit, Izmir and Kirikkale. Tupras is also carrying out a revamp of the FCC unit at Izmit, which will include the installation of flue gas treatment and energy back recovery systems.

** OMV Petrom said that it will invest approximately Eur70 million ($83.38 million) at its Petrobrazi refinery in Romania to replace the four coke drums. The process of replacing the coke drums will take place between 2021 and 2023.

** Orlen Lietuva has signed a letter of intent with the Lithuanian Ministry of Energy to consider constructing a bottom-of-the-barrel installation, the plant's owner PKN Orlen said. The installation would allow a rise in high-margin products from 73% to more than 86%. PKN said the investment would be the largest of its kind in Lithuanian history and would take about four years to complete.

** Austria's OMV is planning an upgrade during a turnaround at its Burghausen refinery in Germany in the third quarter of 2022. "We are expanding and modernizing the steam cracker in Burghausen, Germany, which will increase the capacities for ethylene and propylene production. Essential integration works for this project will take place during the turnaround," a source at the company said. The expansion is expected to facilitate increased annual ethylene and propylene production by around 50,000 mt/year.

** Portugal's Galp will build a desulfurization unit at the Sines refinery which could process 20,000 b/d. The new project will allow the company to widen its crude slate. Galp did not provide a date for the project as it presented its 2021-25 strategic plan.

** Greece's Hellenic Petroleum said in 2021 that at Thessaloniki, a Eur35 million has been approved for a capacity increase of the PP production unit to 300,000 mt/year, with implementation targeted in the next two-and-a-half years.

** The Kazakh-Romanian Energy Investment Fund, or FIEKR, has started the construction of the cogeneration plant at Romania's Petromidia refinery. The plant is expected to be commissioned by the end of July 2023. The Investment Fund signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract for Turkey's Calik Enerji to build the cogeneration plant. The new combined electricity and heat production plant will use natural gas as the main fuel. It will have a capacity of 80 MW, of which 60-70 MW will fully cover the Petromidia plant's electricity needs with up to 20 MW used to heat water for the town of Navodari's heating system. In 2020, two other projects were approved aimed at the modernization of the Petromidia refinery. They consist of building a diesel dewaxing unit which will allow the refinery to improve the production of winter diesel and increase the production of special aviation fuel. In addition, the refinery is working on increasing by more than 30% its polymer production by converting the high density polyethylene, or HDPE, installation into a polypropylene, PP, installation.

** Works on the construction of a residue upgrade unit at Croatia's INA Rijeka plant are underway.

The project, which includes building a delayed coker, had its final investment decision made at the end of 2019 and works started in 2020.

** Greece's Motor Oil Hellas said that its Corinth refinery continues with the construction of the naphtha treatment complex, which is expected to be completed by the end of Q1 2022. Construction started in 2020.

** Bosnia's Brod refinery has launched a solar power station. The refinery suspended its operations in 2019 for an upgrade and to prepare for the use of natural gas. It remains offline, local media reported. A pipeline is being built to supply the refinery with natural gas to fuel its internal processes and was expected to be ready in late 2020 although the company was not available to comment on the progress. The gas will replace fuel oil as a power source for the refinery processes.

** Serbia's Pancevo refinery expects to complete its FCC project by 2023. The refinery also plans to build a unit for the production of the octane enhancement chemical ETBE by 2024.

** TotalEnergies said the modernization of Donges will continue. It includes Eur350 million for a desulfurization unit, Eur50 million for participating in the bypassing of the rail lines, and Eur50 million in a unique control room. Separately, the refinery has started preparations for installing a new diesel hydrotreater, expected to come online in 2023. Kinetics Technology said it had been awarded the contract for building the 40,000 b/d hydrotreater. The French government, local authorities, railway operator SNCF and Total signed a memorandum of intent in 2016 to build the railroad track bypassing the Donges refinery. Total said previously following the bypass agreement, it would proceed with the planned upgrade. The bypass will be ready in 2022.

** Cepsa's San Roque has received a favorable environmental impact assessment for its Eur1 billion "bottom of the barrel" project, which includes the construction of a new hydrocracker and the idling of the visbreaking unit, among other work. The project has been delayed due to local objections which caused earthworks at the site to be halted in 2019 and then further delayed by pandemic-related measures in the country and other legal challenges. The project entails the construction of a new LC Fining hydrocracking unit which will provide 36,700 b/d of LC Fining technology and 27,600 b/d of isotreating, as well as a sulfur unit and new hydrogen unit. The production of diesel should increase to 55% from 40% once the project is concluded. No date has been announced for the start of the work, which was initially due to begin in 2019 and conclude in 2022. Separately, Cepsa will revamp Isomax, fluid catalytic cracker, alkylation units at San Roque and will construct a methylene unit (Sorbex II).

** Bulgaria's Burgas refinery has awarded a contract to US Lummus Technology for a 280,000 mt/year polypropylene plant. The contract includes a technology license as well as as basic design engineering, training and services, and catalyst supply.

** ExxonMobil said it has "made a final investment decision to expand" the Fawley refinery in the UK to increase production of ULSD by 45%, or 38,000 b/d. The more than $1 billion investment includes a hydrotreater to remove sulfur from diesel, supported by a hydrogen plant. Start-up was expected in 2021.

** Russian Lukoil plans to invest in its ISAB refinery in southern Italy. Lukoil will invest $60 million in upgrades, including two hydrodesulfurization units.

** Cepsa said it will carry out upgrades to its aromax and hydrocracker units at Huelva. It is also carrying out an aromatics optimization project at the refinery.

** Israel's Haifa District Court has rejected an appeal by Haifa municipality along with six other neighboring communities and environmental groups against the proposed expansion of the Bazan refinery.

Biofuel, hydrogen upgrades

New and revised entries

** Spain's Repsol could use the maintenance of its Cartagena refinery to start construction of a second-generation biofuel plant at the nearby Escombreras facility, depending on whether it receives the appropriate planning permission, local daily La Verdad reported Sept. 30, citing Refinery Director Antonio Mestre Gomez. The new unit, costing Eur188 million will produce 250,000 mt/y of biodiesel from waste from 2023.

** Ineos plans to produce and use low-carbon hydrogen at its Grangemouth refinery and petrochemical plant in Scotland, in combination with the Acorn carbon capture and storage facility, as it seeks to reduce its CO2 emissions.

The company plans to "move to the production and use of hydrogen by all businesses at the Grangemouth site" by 2030, along with CCS of at least 1 million mt/year, Ineos said in a statement.

** Spain's Repsol has produced its first hydrogen from biomethane, for use in the production of gasoline, diesel and kerosene. The company produced 10 mt of hydrogen from 500 MWh of biomethane at its Cartagena industrial complex, avoiding the emissions of 90 mt of CO2. The biomethane was sourced from urban solid waste, replacing natural gas in the process.

** Polish refiner PKN Orlen had approved a Zloty 600 million ($151.5 million) investment to build a HVO unit to produce biofuels at its Plock refinery. The unit will process used rapeseed oil to produce an additive to diesel or aviation fuel. The annual production of the unit will be 300,000 mt of biodiesel or aviation biofuel. The start of production is scheduled for mid-2024, PKN said.

Existing entries

** Shell plans to build an 820,000 mt/year biofuel plant in Rotterdam at the site of Europe's biggest refinery, Pernis, to produce sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel from waste. The plan was announced in July 2021 but there was no final investment decision at the time. The plant is expected to start production in 2024 and will produce low-carbon fuels such as renewable diesel from used cooking oil, waste animal fat, and other industrial and agricultural residual products, using technology developed by Shell, the company said. It said the facility will not use virgin palm oil as a feedstock but will process vegetable oils such as rapeseed to supplement the waste feedstocks "until even more sustainable advanced feedstocks are widely available."

** Honeywell said that a trial to co-process biomass-based pyrolysis oil in the Lysekil FCC has been completed producing partially renewable transportation fuel. The refinery used UOP's proprietary bioliquid feed system. In June Swedish refiner Preem announced carrying out the first tests at Lysekil to produce renewable gasoline from sawdust as it has started to process pyrolysis oil at the FCC. The tests consist of two parts: an initial batch of 300 mt of pyrolysis oil, followed by a longer test operation that will process up to 50,000 mt of pyrolysis oil for two years. Pyrolysis oil produced from sustainable solid biomass materials such as sawdust or agricultural residuals is a low carbon feedstock suitable for refinery upgrading, Honeywell said.

Separately, a study by Preem and state-owned utility Vattenfall has shown "very good conditions" for an electrolysis plant at the Lysekil refinery which will produce hydrogen for biofuels. The companies are studying a 50 MW electrolysis plant "with the ambition of taking the next step in the spring of 2022." The timing of the start-up depends among other things on an environmental assessment.

Preem aims to ramp up biofuels production to approximately 5 million cubic meters/year by 2030, which "requires a large-scale supply of hydrogen, where the expansion of one or more electrolyzers can play an important role." In October 2020, Preem had started a conversion of Lysekil that will make it the biggest producer of renewable fuels in Scandinavia. The company had abandoned an upgrade of the conventional oil refinery.

Preem plans to carry out a redevelopment of the existing Synsat plant, which currently produces environmental Class 1 diesel. When the conversion is complete, the plant will have the capacity to process up to 40% of its renewable raw materials, with the ambition to reach higher levels in the long term.

** Spain's Repsol plans to start a 2.5 MW electrolyzer to produce hydrogen at its Petronor refinery in the second half of 2022. The capacity is slightly higher than the 2 MW previously announced. The hydrogen produced will feed Petronor's Bilbao refinery, and also supply the nearby Margen Izquierda Technology Park, in the municipality of Abanto-Zierbena.

Repsol is also planning to build a plant at Bilbao to produce net-zero emission synthetic fuel based on green hydrogen generated with renewable energy. The first phase, costing Eur60 million ($71 million), could be ready by 2024 and should produce 50 b/d of synthetic fuel, which can then be scaled up. A second phase, costing Eur20 million, will involve the building of a plant to generate gas to feed the refinery from urban waste.

** BP plans to install a hydrogen unit at Spain's Castellon for a 2023 start-up, in conjunction with Spain's Iberdrola and Enagas.

** Spain's Tarragona has started on a series of energy transition projects, including the manufacture of biofuel for aviation and an advanced biofuels plant, which is already under construction.

Repsol has also joined a project to transform urban waste to methanol, which should start up in 2025 with an investment of Eur250 million alongside partners Enerkem and Agbar.

** TotalEnergies has launched a research project with French waste and water utility Veolia to accelerate the development of advanced biofuels made from microalgae fed by CO2, the companies said.

Under the agreement, the companies will set up a four-year research and testing project to grow microalgae at TotalEnergies La Mede biorefinery in southern France, with the long-term goal of producing biofuel. Separately, TotalEnergies will stop using palm oil at La Mede from 2023, according to local media report at La Provence paper. The biorefinery has already significantly reduced the amount of palm oil it processes from 500,000 mt/year initially to 100,000 mt in 2021.

** Italy's Eni said it will build new units at its Porto Marghera biorefinery in Venice which will allow it to "eliminate the use of palm oil in its production of biofuels." From 2023 Eni will no longer use palm oil in its production processes. The refinery has submitted documentation for an environmental impact assessment for the new units which will allow the treatment of crude vegetable oils, used plant-based cooking oils and used animal fats. Eni is planning further upgrade work on its existing Gela biorefinery on the island of Sicily to boost output of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as the EU targets the jet fuel alternative to help achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Eni is now planning to convert part of the Gela plant to produce 150,000 mt/year of SAF before 2024.

** Neste said key projects to expand renewables capacity at its Singapore plant and to boost sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, production from its existing biorefinery in Rotterdam, are both on track to start up at the beginning and at the end of 2023, respectively. Neste will modify its existing biorefinery in Rotterdam so it can significantly boost production of sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF.

This will involve an investment of approximately Eur190 million ($230 million), enabling it "to optionally produce up to 500,000 mt of SAF per annum as part of the existing capacity," Neste said. The project is estimated to be completed in the second half of 2023. This is also part of Neste's target to be able to produce 1.5 million mt of SAF by the end of 2023. The Finnish refiner also recently picked Rotterdam as the most likely site for its new renewable products refinery. A final investment decision on the project will be taken either by the end of 2021 or early in 2022. Neste also said that its Singapore renewables capacity expansion project is proceeding according to the revised schedule. Neste's current renewable products' capacity in Finland, the Netherlands and Singapore is approximately 3.2 million mt/year. The Rotterdam and Singapore facilities both have an annual capacity of more than 1.3 million mt of renewable products. The capacity expansion in Singapore is aimed at bringing its total renewables product capacity to 4.5 million mt/year in 2023.

** The new electrolyzer at Germany's Rhineland refinery, which will produce green hydrogen, and is Europe's biggest polymer electrolyte membrane, or PEM, electrolyzer, was started July 2. The five electrolyzer modules, with a total 10 MW of capacity, have been installed at the Wesseling site. The refinery consists of the Wesseling (south) and Godorf (north) sites. "Plans are under way to expand capacity of the electrolyzer from 10 megawatts to 100 megawatts," the company said in a statement. The PEM is part of the Refhyne project, aimed to produce up to 1,300 mt/year of green hydrogen. Separately, Shell is planning to produce sustainable and synthetic aviation fuel using renewable power and biogenic sources. The 100 MW electrolyzer, part of the Refhyne II project, and the SAF projects are at an advanced planning stage. Refhyne II could start commercial operations beginning in 2025, with construction expected to start 2022 pending a final investment decision.

** Germany's Heide refinery aims to scale its 30 MW electrolyzer project to 300 MW by the end of 2025. The 30 MW pilot project is part of the Westkueste 100 consortium with Orsted, while the 300 MW expansion project is part of the HyScale 100 project. A final investment decision of the 30 MW pilot should to be taken this year with a view to a 2023 start date. Output from the electrolyzers will replace conventional hydrogen generated on-site. Using hydrogen blended with CO2 to make methanol, the Klesch-owned refinery aims to be supplying 5% of the jet fuel used at the nearby Hamburg airport as Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) by 2024.

** Finland's Neste said it is working on two projects at its Porvoo refinery aimed at developing it into "renewable hydrogen and CO2 utilization as well as advanced biofuels production from lignocellulosic wastes and residues." The project for clean hydrogen and recovery of carbon aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by introducing carbon capture and storage at Porvoo as well as "electrolysis solutions that allow decarbonization of production at the refinery." The lignocellulosics project aims to convert "forestry-based waste and residue raw materials into advanced biofuels" at the Porvoo refinery. Neste also said that as part of its aim for 100% renewable electricity globally by 2023 it will increase the use of renewable electricity at its Porvoo refinery. Approximately 40% of the electricity used at the refinery will be renewable wind power in 2025.

** Croatia's INA is looking at potentially developing its Sisak plant into a biorefinery. "The biorefinery is one of the sustainable alternatives planned for the Sisak industrial site," it said in a statement, adding that the plant could produce second-generation biofuels. "We are currently working on further development and opportunities for additional co-funding of this project, which is a key prerequisite for making a final investment decision," the company said. The company had previously said it was looking at various options for the conversion of Sisak, including a bitumen production site and logistic hub.

** Portugal's Galp said that the Sines industrial site around the refinery will undergo a gradual transformation into a green energy hub which Galp expects to be leveraged on the access to green hydrogen, which will allow further industrial applications, such as synthetic fuel, and support a significant emissions reduction by 2030. The upgrade could entail a 270,000 mt/year HVO production site, on which Galp has to take a final investment decision.

** Essar Oil UK said it has secured a GBP7.2 million ($10.2 million) grant from the UK's Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to install a new furnace in the crude distillation unit at its Stanlow refinery. The new furnace will be able to run on a 100% hydrogen, making it the UK's first refinery-based furnace able to be fueled entirely by hydrogen. The furnace will use hydrogen produced by the HyNet North West blue hydrogen project at Stanlow, with the first stage of the initiative set to come on stream in 2025. Separately, Essar Oil UK together with Fulcrum BioEnergy Ltd. will build a new facility to convert non-recyclable household waste into sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, to be used by airlines operating at UK airports. "This innovative bio-refinery will convert several hundred thousand tonnes of pre-processed waste, which would have otherwise been destined for incineration or landfill, into approximately 100 million liters of low carbon SAF annually," the company said. The facility will be operational in late 2025. The facility will utilize direct pipeline access to transport the SAF to UK airports through the Manchester Jet Line and the UK Oil Pipeline network.

** Phillips 66 said it secured more than GBP500,000 to switch industrial fired heaters from gas to low carbon hydrogen at its Humber refinery. The company is working with the UK's Gigastack consortium on a project that involves the use of renewable hydrogen at Humber to reduce the carbon content of fuels produced there. Separately, Phillips 66 said its UK refinery was moving to produce 5,000 b/d renewable diesel by 2024 after expanding capacity to 3,000 b/d from 1,000 b/d. Humber produced 1,000 b/d of renewable diesel in 2020, after starting production in 2019.

** Green hydrogen company Everfuel is planning a 300 MW electrolyzer project adjacent to the 70,000 b/d Fredericia refinery in Denmark to supply renewable gas to the plant and for local zero-emission transport by 2025. The HySynergy Phase II plant will send 80% of the hydrogen produced to the refinery for use as a feedstock in the refining process. The remaining 20% will go to hydrogen mobility applications. The commissioning of the plant is expected in late 2024. Shell sold the Fredericia refinery to private investment company Postlane Partners in early 2021. Postlane's development plans for the refinery include co-processing renewable feedstocks and will focus on green hydrogen, and the potential for advanced biofuels.

** In Q1 2021, Polish refiner Grupa Lotos launched its Pure H2 project, which includes the construction of a hydrogen purification unit and a system for supplying hydrogen to vehicles that haul compressed hydrogen. The project is scheduled to be completed in Q4 2023. Lotos plans to build a pilot 100 MW electrolysis installation and 20 MW power generation unit by 2025. The first stage of the investment will be a pilot project in 2020-2025 including a 100 MW electrolysis installation, a 20 MW power generation unit, hydrogen storage and fuel cells. The company said its location in Gdansk on the Baltic Sea coastline was favorable for cooperation with planned offshore wind farms for the production of renewable hydrogen. In the second stage between 2025-2030, Lotos would look to expand the capacity of the electrolysis installation to 1 GW, and the associated gas-fired generation unit to 200 MW. Storage capacity would be increased to 2,500 mt of hydrogen. In a third stage to 2040, Lotos aimed to become the regional leader in the production and distribution of green hydrogen with plans to supply the gas to refineries and power generation plants, as well as injecting hydrogen into the gas grid. The electrolysis installation would be expanded to 4 GW with a 1 GW gas-fired generation unit, it said.

** TotalEnergies plans to produce SAF from its "zero-crude" Grandpuits platform from 2024. The plant will focus also on production of bioplastics, plastics recycling and the operation of two photovoltaic solar power plants. Crude oil refining has been discontinued in 2021 and storage of oil products will end in late 2023.

** TotalEnergies' Antwerp refinery is interested in adding coprocessing biofuel units to the refinery. The company said it was considering adding units to its existing refinery. There is currently no timeline for making a decision about the project. De Standard newspaper cited Jacques Beuckelaers, CEO of Total Antwerp, as saying the units would have capacity of 150,000 mt/year and would process cooking oil and animal fats.

** Hungary's MOL has started biodiesel production at the Danube refinery using coprocessing technology, with plans to produce more than 100,000 mt by 2030.

** Austria's OMV plans to build a pilot plant at its Schwechat refinery for the production of second-generation biofuels. The plant, which is to start production from 2023, involves "advanced biofuels that are not in competition with foodstuffs," the company said. Construction will start in the second quarter of 2021. The plant will use an in-house developed catalyst to produce propanol (or alcohol) from glycerin, which is a byproduct from the production of biodiesel. The pilot plant will produce 1.25 million liters/year of propanol. "The long-term plan is to commercialize the technology in order to produce around 125 million liters/year of propanol and reduce CO2 by around 180,000 mt," OMV said. Germany's Chemieanlagenbau Chemnitz, or CAC, said it has been contracted by OMV to build its biofuel plant. Separately, OMV will build the country's largest electrolysis plant at the Schwechat refinery through a joint investment with Kommunalkredit Austria AG. The plant is expected to start in the second half of 2023. The 10 MW polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis will produce up to 1,500 mt/year of green hydrogen.

** Italy's Enel Green Power and Saras have signed a memorandum of intent to develop a green hydrogen project with an initial 20 MW electrolyzer. The hydrogen produced would be used at the Sarroch refinery. Hydrogen is an integral part of Saras' refining process for use in hydrocracking and hydrotreatment processes. It is currently provided by the IGCC complex and two reforming units on the industrial site.

** Eni is evaluating conversion of its Livorno refinery in northwest Italy into a bio-refinery. Eni has already converted two of its Italian refineries and aims to double its bio-refining capacity to around 2 million mt/year by 2024, increasing this capacity at least five times by 2050.

** Germany's MiRo refinery in Karlsruhe is considering launching production of synthetic fuels, pending approval by the local government. The state of Baden-Wuerttemberg plans a large renewable fuels pilot project at the MiRo refinery.

** French oil company TotalEnergies and utility Engie have signed a cooperation agreement to design, develop, build and operate France's largest renewable hydrogen production site near Total's La Mede biorefinery. The Masshylia project at Martigues, west of Marseilles, will be powered by a 100 MW solar farm with a 40 MW electrolyzer set to produce 5 mt/day of green hydrogen to meet the needs of the biofuel production process at Total's nearby biorefinery. Construction will start in 2022 following the completion of the advanced engineering study. Production could start in 2024, subject to financial support and public authorizations.

** Repsol has increased its 2025 and 2030 targets for sustainable biofuel production, targeting 1.3 million mt/year of sustainable biofuel production by 2025 and more than 2 million mt/year by 2030. Of the new production total, up to 250,000 mt/year will be from an advanced biofuels plant at its Cartagena refinery in Spain; up to 130,000 mt/year will be methanol supplied from its new waste pyrolosis plant in Bilbao, and up to 300,000 mt/year will come from debottlenecking activity at all five refineries, in their hydrodesulfurization and hydrotreatment units to produce HVO.

** Orsted and BP are to jointly develop a 50 MW renewable hydrogen project at BP's Lingen refinery.

The project, expected to be operational in 2024, would comprise a 50 MW electrolyzer capable of generating 9,000 mt/year of hydrogen, 20% of the refinery's current fossil-based hydrogen consumption.

The electrolyzer is expected to be powered by an Orsted North Sea offshore wind farm. The partners have a longer-term ambition to build more than 500 MW of renewable hydrogen capacity at Lingen, providing renewable hydrogen to meet all the refinery's hydrogen demand and provide feedstock for future synthetic fuel production.

** Gunvor is studying the potential installation of an HVO unit at the Rotterdam refinery.

Launches

New and revised entries

** A new greenfield Porto Romano refinery in Albania will be predominantly oriented to export markets but will also be able to cover Albania's domestic demand, Helmut Mayrhofer, Consultant at Larkalis told a Platts European refining virtual conference. Austria-based consultancy Larkalis is leading an international consortium currently working on the project, which will involve building the refinery in the port town of Durres. The refinery has a two-year construction authorization and could be commissioned by the end of 2025 dependent upon current international developments.

Existing entries

** Turkey's Ersan Petrol plans to start construction of its 1.4 million mt/year Nazli refinery at Kahramanmaras in southeast Turkey in mid-2020, with the plant expected to begin operations in less than four years, company owner Ecvet Sayer said.

** Azerbaijani state oil company Socar is considering the development of a second refinery in Turkey, in addition to its existing 214,000 b/d Star refinery at Aliaga on Turkey's central Aegean coast.