Shell planning to introduce biodiesel blending in Corunna

Proposed tank for biodiesel blending at Shell's Sarnia Manufacturing Centre in Corunna. (Image courtesy of Shell, via. St. Clair Township council agenda.)

Shell is planning to construct infrastructure for biodiesel blending at its Sarnia Manufacturing Centre in Corunna.

Business Opportunity Manager Paul Kaethler recently updated St. Clair Township Council on the plans.

“What we’re planning on doing, or proposing to do, is install a new small tank and the infrastructure in order to receive and blend FAME [Fatty Acid Methyl Ester],” said Kaethler. “FAME is a biodiesel and a biodiesel we blend into our diesel ULSD [Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel] to create a biodiesel.”

Kaethler said the mix would form products called B5 or B20 [5-20% FAME].

“In all of our other terminals, for the most part, across Canada, we do this already. So, this is one of the holdout terminals that we have in our portfolio.”

Kaethler said Shell’s downtown Toronto facility has a fairly large tank.

“We’ve had that for, I think, about ten years now. So, this is not new technology, but it is a nice way to add a renewable or sustainable portion to the portfolio.”

Kaethler said it will only be blended in the warmer months, from April to November.

“There are new regulations that are coming into play,” Kaethler said. “There’s something called the Clean Fuel Regulation that is coming due here next July 1, 2023. As years go on, that regulation will become more and more strict for the content of renewable fuels and this is certainly one lever that we can use to help keep track of those regulations.”

He said it’s part of Shell’s commitment to seek cleaner and more sustainable fuel methods.

“We’re trying to add more renewable content into everything. We’re trying to push, for instance, the addition of more ethanol, which is of course a sustainable fuel, this biodiesel here, as well as renewable diesel.”

Kaethler said the additions are small, don’t impact the existing footprint and aren’t expected to create any additional employment opportunities.

He said the end goal is to become a carbon neutral company and these are small steps along the route.

Construction is expected to start in April and finish in October, 2023.