Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Shell to pause construction of biofuel plant in Rotterdam

Shell has halted construction on one of Europe’s largest biofuel plants, originally slated to convert waste into green jet fuel and biodiesel by the end of the decade.

On Tuesday, the oil company announced a “temporary pause” in work on one of its major energy transition projects to address technical difficulties that have caused delays in its progress thus far.

The facility was designed to produce 820,000 tonnes of biofuels annually, with half earmarked for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) derived from waste cooking oil and animal fat.

Airlines have been banking on sustainable jet fuel to market flights as “low carbon” and reduce the industry’s environmental impact.

Shell was expected to be a major supplier of SAF following the 2021 announcement by its Dutch subsidiary about the biofuel project. Operations were slated to commence in 2025.

However, Shell Nederland Raffinaderij confirmed on Tuesday that it was conducting an “impairment review” of the project, raising doubts about its long-term viability.

This development adds to a string of setbacks for low-carbon initiatives by major energy firms. Last week, BP announced a pause on all new offshore wind projects under new chief Murray Auchincloss, signaling a renewed focus on fossil fuels.

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