Rolls-Royce joins Neste to develop Renewable Diesel for mtu engines

Oct. 27, 2022
The partners say that renewable diesel, using biomass materials, can reduce the greenhouse gas impact compared to fossil diesel by 75 to 95 percent

Rolls-Royce will work with biofuels firm Neste to develop sustainable fuels for diesel engines used in on-site power applications, the companies announced Thursday.

The memorandum of understanding aligns Rolls-Royce and Finland-based Neste together in a partnership to promote the transition of internal combustion engines to sustainable fuels. They also will share knowledge learned independently on developing high-quality renewable fuels.

The focus will be on Rolls-Royce’s mtu line of engines and generation equipment. Rolls-Royce Power Systems fully acquired MTU in 2014.

“Through our ‘Net Zero at Power Systems’ sustainability program, we have committed to realigning our mtu product portfolio so that, by 2030, sustainable fuels and new mtu technologies will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent compared to 2019,” Tobias Ostermaier, president of Stationary Power Solutions within Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems business, said in a statement.

“Our agreement with Neste, the world’s leader producer of renewable diesel, will help us achieve our goals and those of our customers,” Ostermaier added.

Neste currently boasts of a global renewable production capacity of 3.3 million tons per year. Expansion projects in Singapore and with Marathon in California will increase that capacity to 5.5 million annual tons, the company said.

The partners say that renewable diesel, using biomass materials, ultimately can reduce the greenhouse gas impact compared to fossil diesel by 75 to 95 percent, according to reports.

“Both Neste and Rolls-Royce are aimed to reach their climate targets and to support the customers’ journey towards sustainability. In order to achieve this, cooperation is really key,” said Mats Hultman, head of OEM Partnerships at Neste.

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The two companies have worked together on sustainable aviation fuel prior to this MOU on mtu. Last year, they were testing SAF on the Airbus A350, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

In 2020, Neste announced it was contracted to supply renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel to three airlines which flew out of San Franciso International Airport. Those three were American, Alaska and JetBlue Airways, according to reports.

Neste produces renewable diesel from hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) made from materials such as used cooking oil and animal fat from food industry waste. Cooking oil and other waste also form the basic material for the SAF.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]). 

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