MOL Started Biofuel Production in the Danube Refinery
Based on several years of research and development, MOL stepped forward in the value chain and became biofuel producer from biofuel user, through the realization of an investment in Danube Refinery. In the new method, bio feedstock is co-processed together with fossil materials. This solution allows to increase the renewable share of fuels and reduce up to 200,000 tons /year CO2 emission without negatively affecting fuel quality.
“MOL Group has been a biofuel user by purchasing more than 500,000 tons of biofuels (bioethanol and biodiesel) for blending. With this investment, we have started to produce sustainable diesel for the first time within MOL Group and we became biofuel producers. The benefit is double, as while we produce more sustainable fuel, we will connect to the circular economy by recycling also waste. In line with our recently updated strategy, “SHAPE TOMORROW” we are planning to produce 100,000+ tons of biofuel by 2030,” said Gabriel Szabó, Executive Vice President of MOL Group Downstream.
During co-processing that has been implemented in the Danube Refinery, bio-feedstock is processed together with the fossil material in the production of diesel fuel. Vegetable oils, used cooking oils and animal fats can also be used for this purpose. As a result, the produced gasoil is going to be partly renewable, without any quality changes compared to fully crude-oil based diesel. The main advantage of this method is that biodiesel type of components can be still blended in maximum 7 volume percent in line with the diesel standard, so the process after all is able to further increase the bio-share of the gasoil.
One of the main goals of the European Union and MOL Group is to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Renewable share obligations are continuously increasing in the transport sector, among others. Accordingly, biocomponent content expectations have also increased in MOL Group’s fuel markets, which have so far been met mainly by blending bioethanol and biodiesel.
MOL started co-processing as an R&D project in 2012, based on the research results of Pannon University. Types and quality requirements of processable raw materials were determined during these steps and the investment has been launched in 2018. This included the necessary infrastructure development for storing and processing the new biomaterials.
The trial operation of the new process started in March 2020 and has been operating regularly since May. The produced bio-component has significantly higher CO2 saving potential than other type of biofuels produced from the same feedstock. This project means up to 200,000 tons of annual CO2 emission reduction, it’s equal like a city of 200.000 inhabitants would use only solar energy for heating. Still the target is to extend the feedstock portfolio in the direction of waste and residues to achieve even better CO2 saving of the product.
One of the cornerstones of MOL Group 2030+ Strategy is to play a key role in shaping the low-carbon circular economy with investments in new businesses such as waste integration and utilization, recycling, carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), advanced biofuels and potentially hydrogen-related opportunities. In the next five years, MOL will spend USD 1bn on new, low-carbon and sustainable projects to become a key player in CEE in the circular economy and to get closer to its net-zero CO2 emitter goal by 2050. MOL aims to transform its Downstream segment into a highly efficient, sustainable, chemicals-focused leading industry player.
About MOL Group
MOL Group is an integrated, international oil and gas company, headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. It is active in over 30 countries with a dynamic international workforce of 25,000 people and a track record of more than 100 years in the industry. MOL’s exploration and production activities are supported by more than 75 years’ experience in the hydrocarbon field. At the moment, there are production activities in 9 countries and exploration assets in 14 countries. MOL Group operates three refineries and two petrochemical plants under integrated supply chain management in Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia, and owns a network of almost 2,000 service stations across 10 countries in Central & South Eastern Europe.