Sector News

Neste announces plans for algae pilot plant in Spain

February 25, 2023
Energy & Chemical Value Chain

Neste Corp. (Espoo, Finland) is aiming to establish an algae pilot production facility in Spain to further strengthen the growth of its global raw material pool. With this pilot, Neste strives to develop and demonstrate algae cultivation and processing. The project is currently in the planning phase with no final investment decision made yet.

“By harnessing algae as part of our future raw material pool, we continue to diversify Neste’s renewable raw material portfolio with new types of scalable and sustainable raw materials. The pilot in Spain will lay the foundation for advanced research and commercialization of algae and related technologies. Furthermore, novel raw materials support our growth and transformation, enabling Neste to offer lower-emission solutions for the growing global demand,” says Lars Peter Lindfors, Executive Vice President, Innovation at Neste.

“The future for algae is driven by sustainability as it offers a high biomass yield and opportunity to be developed on non-arable lands, and in cultivation with a possibility to utilize sea water. Due to its great greenhouse gas emission saving ability, EU and US regulations support algae as a low-emission raw material for renewable fuels, polymers and chemicals,” Lindfors concludes.

Due to its local algae expertise, favorable environment and central location accompanied with robust infrastructure in the surrounding regions, Spain was identified as a suitable location for piloting.

Neste invests the majority of its annual R&D expenditure in research, development and testing of future raw materials as well as technologies that are needed for their use in renewable and circular solutions. Neste has over 15 years of experience in algae research and development, including numerous lab and field experiments. Among other globally scalable sustainable raw material pools, algae is expected to play an important role in reducing dependence on crude oil and combating climate change.

At Neste, the long-term business development and innovation take place within Neste’s innovation business platforms formed around sustainable future raw materials. These include lignocellulosic waste and residues, algae, municipal solid waste, renewable hydrogen and Power-to-X which utilizes renewable electricity to convert CO2 into fuels and chemicals.

By Mary Bailey


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