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NextChem signs HVO technology licensing deal with Saola Energy

In Italy, renewable energy technology portfolio developer NextChem Srl, a Maire Tecnimont S.p.A company has recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with US-based biofuels technology providers Saola Energy LLC to license Saola's technology for the production of renewable diesel, suitable for both small bolt-on facilities and large plants.

NextChem has announced its alliance with Saola Energy to license in the international market technology for the production of renewable diesel in the form of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) from vegetable oils and residual fats. A joint promotional roadshow in the United States kicked-off in Houston, Texas on February 11, 2020 (photo courtesy NextChem).

NextChem announces its alliance with Saola Energy to license in the international market technology for the production of renewable diesel in the form of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) from vegetable oils and residual fats and has kicked-off a promotional roadshow on the American market.

NextChem and Saola Energy will combine know-how and expertise to deliver a comprehensive solution to the marketplace. NextChem will be the licensor of the combined technology and will provide clients with engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services and training to ensure the successful deployment of the technology.

This collaboration represents a great opportunity to license our technologies worldwide. With this agreement in place, we are able to supply customers with a complete solution for an integrated renewable diesel facility. This will provide a very attractive solution in the marketplace for parties that are interested in both small or larger scale biorefineries, said Adam Belyamani, COO, Saola Energy.

Proprietary modular process

Saola Energy’s patented technology consists of a hydrotreatment step followed by isomerization to produce high-quality renewable diesel fuel from oils and residual fats. The technology can process at industrial scale a wide range of feedstocks and is ideal to capture the increased value in low-carbon fuels across multiple jurisdictions.

Furthermore, the process has a modularized approach and is conceived for capacities as low as 10 million (US) gallons (≈ 37.8 million litres) per year – approximately 30 000 tonnes. According to NextChem, this makes it ideal for both smaller bolt-on facilities with access to a limited supply of captive feedstock and larger standalone plants that can aggregate larger amounts of raw materials.

The integration of this technology with existing plants or biorefineries will allow the optimization of economics via the valorization of by-products. Companies handling waste oils and residual fats will have access to new opportunities in the market for second-generation renewable fuels.

Renewable diesel is a drop-in fuel that meets the petroleum fuel ASTM D975 and EN 590 standards. It overcomes blend limits and is currently used in existing diesel engines without any constraint, and with superior properties in comparison with fossil diesel and biodiesel (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester –FAME). In the marketplace, renewable diesel commands a substantial premium over FAME.

Renewable diesel is a valuable solution for sustainable mobility and shows a notable market trend2 as the fastest-growing segment in the biofuels industry. This agreement represents for NextChem an opportunity to improve our technology portfolio in a fastgrowing sector and it is also an entry point to the American agri-tech market. NextChem is looking at technological solutions that, while giving the best contribution to decarbonization, are a profitable opportunity for entrepreneurs to strengthen their business or create new ones, said Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO of Maire Tecnimont and NextChem.

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