Essential Energy USA Corp, a leading biofuel producer has announced plans to build a new biorefinery in South America for the production of high-quality renewable diesel.
Novara, Italy-based Nextchem, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont, and Essential Energy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding executed a contract under which Nextchem will conduct a front-end engineering design study for the project.
Moreover, according to the terms of the agreement and subject to Essential Energy’s final investment decision, NextChem will also be the exclusive EPC contractor for the project.
The new biorefinery, which is projected to have a production capacity of 200,000 tonnes per year, will process natural oil, waste vegetable oils and tallow into HVO (hydrogenated vegetable oils) or renewable diesel, as it is also known.
While chemically identical to petroleum-based diesel, this renewable diesel offers improved performance and a decrease in carbon intensity of over 80% - through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions - compared to petroleum-based diesel. It is used worldwide as a drop-in biofuel in diesel vehicles with no engine modifications.
Both the Maire Tecnomont Group and its subsidiary compay, Nextchem, are veteran players in the field of energy services and EPC contracting.
Furthermore, NextChem has also been part of energy transition projects focussed on carbon footprint reduction, through the development of new technologies for the production of biofuels and biochemicals from biobased feedstock and circular chemicals from waste.
"Our business in the biofuels sector and in particular on the Renewable Diesel segment is gradually growing and South America is a very interesting area for us,” said Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO of Maire Tecnimont Group and NextChem.
“Low carbon mandates in North America and Europe will drive strong demand and premium pricing: this, together with the availability of proven technologies and solid EPC capabilities opens a path of market success for such investments.”