Neste Oil starts up Europe’s largest renewable diesel plant

Company deploys Metso’s automation and safety solutions to support efficient operations at Rotterdam facility.


Neste Oil has successfully started up Europe's largest renewable diesel plant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with an official opening celebrated December 19, 2011. Metso has delivered comprehensive automation and safety solutions for the greenfield plant, which was commissioned last September.

“The Rotterdam plant is a significant milestone in Neste Oil's cleaner traffic strategy, and consolidates the company's position as the world's leading producer of renewable diesel. We are proud to be chosen a partner for this demanding project, where high automation reliability and safety as well as demanding operational features cannot be excessively emphasized,” says Kari Karppinen, sales director of Metso’s automation business line.

Metso’s delivery scope included two DNA automation systems; one for the NExtBTL process and another for the utilities processes. The delivery also included several DCS integrated safety systems, field equipment maintenance tools, and process history data storage, trending, and reporting applications with remote access possibilities.

Metso claims long and extensive experience in automation solutions for oil refineries and petro- chemical plants, including several other of Neste’s facilities. These include Neste’s NExBTL renewable diesel plant in Singapore and several DCS/SIS installations in the refineries at Porvoo and Naantali, Finland.

The Rotterdam plant has a capacity of 800,000 tpy, and will increase the company's total renewable diesel capacity to 2 million tpy. With its proprietary NExBTL technology, the plant can make flexible use of almost any vegetable oil or waste fat in the production of premium-quality renewable diesel. The final product is a premium fuel that is compatible with all diesel engines and existing fuel distribution systems. NExBTL helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40-80% compared to fossil diesel.

“We have been working in close cooperation with Neste Oil and Technip Italy, the EPCM contractor for the site,” Karppinen explains. “The automation systems include many state-of-the-art features in operator interfaces, diagnostics, and system interfaces jointly developed by Neste Oil and Metso.”

One of these features is comprehensive use of HART data. At the NExBTL plant, each available HART measurement has been made accessible to the operators. These digital measurements give valuable and accurate information for the demanding process control. In addition, the HART Protocol enables field device configuration, versatile diagnostics, and troubleshooting.

Another Metso product delivered to the site is the Metso DNA Field Device Manager, which makes field device management easier and more efficient by providing easy remote field device configuration, calibration, and tuning. Online device condition monitoring ensures continuous information on device diagnostics and supports proactive field asset management. It also helps control device performance monitoring and the planning as well as optimization of maintenance work.

Edited by Peter Welander,

Visit the Control Engineering process control channel.

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