More Asian investment in the biofuel space

Shell Eastern Petroleum, a unit of oil giant Shell SHELL said it has acquired Asia-based waste oil recycling firm EcoOils to expand its biofuels production.

The acquisition comprises EcoOils’ subsidiaries in Malaysia and a 90% stake in its Indonesian subsidiaries through the deal, Shell Eastern said in a statement. The value of the investment was not discslosed.
EcoOils has a production capacity of 65,000 tonnes per year of spent bleaching earth oil, a type of recycled oil that can be used as feedstock for biofuel production.

“This acquisition provides secure access to a recognised, advanced feedstock, which can be used at Shell’s biofuels facilities to meet that aim,” said Sinhead Lynch, senior vice-president for low carbon fuels at Shell.
Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp will also build Asia’s first plant to mass-produce biofuel that does not reduce food stocks in Thailand.

Sumitomo has signed a memorandum of understanding for the project with Global Green Chemicals, a subsidiary of Thai petrochemical group PTT Global Chemical.

The partners are discussing the commercial production of bioethanol made from bagasse, which is left over after sugarcane is crushed for its juice.

Sumitomo’s Thai plant is likely to begin construction in 2025 but production volumes have yet to be finalized.

Bioethanol output is estimated at 100 million tonnes a year globally, with the US and Brazil as the biggest producers.

Bioethanol is viewed as the solution for the reduction of greenhouse gases – are increasingly used in automobile fuel and sustainable aviation fuels. Plastic makers are also using bioethanol as a raw material instead of naphtha.