Neste Oil to buy algae oils from Cellana to use as biofuels feedstock
Neste Oil, the world's largest producer of renewable diesel, has signed a contingent commercial off-take agreement with Cellana, a US-based algae biomass developer, the companies announced on Friday.
The agreement will enable Neste Oil to purchase Cellana's algae oil for use as a feedstock in the future for producing renewable fuel.
The deal is contingent on Cellana's future production capacity and on compliance with future biofuel legislation in the EU and US, among other factors.
Cellana said it expects to be able to produce algae oil on a commercial scale from late 2015 onwards. Based in Hawaii and California, Cellana has almost a decade of experience in growing oil-rich algae in its pilot- and demonstration-scale facilities in Hawaii using sea water in its photo-bioreactors and open ponds.
Samples have shown that Cellana is able to produce algae oil suitable for renewable fuel production by Neste Oil, according to company officials.
"We want to support R&D efforts on new, sustainably produced raw materials and increased production of algae oil, which is one of the most interesting future alternatives in this area," said Lars Peter Lindfors, senior vice president of technology for Neste Oil.
"Studies have already shown that algae oil can be used successfully in our NExBTL
process," he added. "The off-take agreement with Cellana allows us access to commercial-scale volumes of cost-competitive algae oil in the future. This new agreement fits very well with our strategy aimed at extending the range of feedstocks we use for NExBTL
The agreement between the companies is non-exclusive and allows each to enter into additional agreements with other parties. Neste Oil noted that it is also involved in university-led algae research projects in Australia and the Netherlands that are testing a range of methods for cultivating algae outdoors.
Neste Oil says it is currently the world's only biofuel producer capable of refining premium-quality renewable fuel from over 10 different feedstocks on an industrial scale.
The company is also researching the use of agricultural and forestry residues to produce microbial oil for feedstock purposes at a new pilot plant at Neste Oil's technology center in Porvoo, Finland.
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