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Shell to Produce “Green” Aviation Fuel in Germany

01.03.2021 - Shell has announced plans to produce sustainable aviation fuels together with UK-based ITM Power at its Rhineland refinery in Cologne-Wesseling, Germany. A new Bio-Power-to-Liquid plant would be the first such commercial plant ever, it said.

The partners also plan to build the world’s largest hydrogen electrolysis plant at the Wesseling site, and have now decided to increase its output to 100 MW from the previously envisioned 10 MW. Alongside ITM Power, the now UK-headquartered gases and engineering group Linde, along with the joint venture ITM Linde Electrolysis (ILE), will work on the facility. Construction is tentatively planned to begin in 2022.

Shell said the capacity increase is contingent on finalizing contracts and securing matching funds. The group has applied for German and EU aid to realize the project, which will be similar to the one announced in January 2021 for the Leuna chemical park in eastern Germany.

Both German projects described as being an integral part of the planned transformation of the Wesseling complex into a Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rhineland. This would include an energy campus, for which the group is seeking additional partners.

With the bio power-to-liquid plant, Shell said it aims to reduce its own CO2 emissions in producing kerosene and naphtha compared to conventional products. In addition to green electricity, wood residues are to be used as biomass as feedstock for production.

Marco Richrath, Shell’s refinery director, said the Rhineland facility is at the heart of the group’s activities in Germany and will play a key role in widening the share of alternative products in its portfolio, thus reducing its fossil fuel base. Production will be increasingly converted to regenerative solutions such as synthetic and biofuels as well as “green” hydrogen, he said.

Shell’s newest announcement comes shortly after it pulled plans to build a plant on the South Humber Bank in Yorkshire as part of a green aviation fuel project being pursued by British Airways.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist

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