MOL announced that it has become a biofuel producer through the realization of an investment in the Danube Refinery. The company says that, consequently, bio feedstock will be co-processed together with fossil materials, thereby increasing the renewable share of fuels and reducing up to 200,000 tons per year of CO2 emissions — 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,” says Gabriel Szabó, executive vice president of MOL Group Downstream. “The benefits are numerous; as we produce more sustainable fuel, we will also help the circular economy by recycling waste. In line with our recently updated strategy, ‘SHAPE TOMORROW,’ we are planning to produce [over] 100,000 tons of biofuel by 2030.”

During co-processing at 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 partly renewable — without any quality changes, compared to diesel that’s produced entirely from crude-oil. The company says the main advantage of this method is that the resultant biodiesel can still be blended with a maximum 7% of bio-feedstock based fuel, in line with diesel standards, thereby allowing the bio-share of the gasoil to be higher.

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 and the investment was launched in 2018, including the infrastructure that would have to be developed to store and process the new bio-materials. The trial operation of the new process began in March 2020, and has been operating regularly since May.  

The company says the project means to cut up to 200,000 tons of annual CO2 emissions — equivalent to a city of 200,000 inhabitants entirely switching to solar energy for heating. The target is to further expand the type of waste that can be used as feedstocks during the processing, which will achieve even more CO2 savings from the product.

One of the cornerstones of the 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.

During the next five years, MOL says it will spend $1 billion on new, low-carbon and sustainable projects to become a key player in CEE in the circular economy and get closer to its net-zero CO2 emitter goal by 2050. 

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