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  • Glossary

Environmental and emission permits

Refinery environmental permits

The operations of Neste Oil's refineries in the EU (Porvoo, Naantali, and Rotterdam) are regulated by statutory environmental permits issued by the local authorities in accordance with EU legislation. These place limits on the amount of emissions that can be released, for example, and set out requirements for reducing emissions, monitoring, and reporting. Neste Oil's refinery in Singapore is regulated by local environmental legislation.

The environmental permit covering the Naantali refinery was granted in 2007 and that covering the Porvoo refinery in 2006. Under Finnish practice, environmental permits remain in force until further notice, but must be renewed every 8–10 years. The Singapore and Rotterdam refineries, which were commissioned in 2010 and 2011 respectively, both have valid environmental permits.

Current environmental permit policy incorporates the Best Available Technology (BAT) principle, under which the conditions of permits and the limits set out in them must be based on levels that can be achieved using the best available technology. Use of the BAT principle will probably become compulsory for oil refineries in the EU during 2014. Neste Oil has been involved in technical drafting work on BAT requirements coordinated by the EU and recognizes that applying these requirements could result in the need for investments at its sites in the future.

Environmental permit-related incidents in 2013

  Site What happened  Impact
Permit level exceeded
  • Rotterdam
  • Chemical oxygen demand of wastewater exceeded permitted levels
  • Minor
Permit level exceeded
  • Rotterdam
  • Chemical oxygen demand of wastewater exceeded permitted levels
  • Minor
Permit infringed
  • Rotterdam
  • Wastewater sampling system failed
  • Minor
Permit infringed
  • Kokkola
  • Recovery plant went offline
  • Minor
Permit infringed
  • Porvoo
  • Operational problem at a recovery plant
  • Minor
Permit infringed
  • Kokkola
  • Recovery plant went offline
  • Minor
Permit infringed
  • Porvoo
  • Rubble storage exceeded the permit limit
  • Minor

Minor= Emission did not result in damage to the environment.

In Singapore, the site waste water discharge does not meet all quality requirements.  An on-site treatment investment is being planned to overcome these difficulties.  

A total of seven (six) environmental permit-related incidents took place in 2013, none of which had a significant impact on the environment.

Emissions trading

CO2 emissions released by Neste Oil's Porvoo and Naantali refineries come within the scope of the EU's Emissions Trading System. The renewable diesel refineries in Rotterdam and Singapore, in contrast, are not covered by the emissions trading scheme. The EU scheme has operated since 2005 and entered its third phase, which will run until 2020, in 2013.

Plants coming within the scope of the scheme require an emissions permit; when applying for a permit, companies are required to detail the monitoring systems used for measuring the CO2 emissions of the plants in question. An independent third party verifies the monitoring carried out at Neste Oil's sites and the company's reporting annually. Some technical malfunctions in the emission trading monitoring system at Porvoo were identified and corrective actions were taken. Neste Oil operates according to emission permits that are granted by the Energy Authority In Finland.

The Porvoo and Naantali refineries have applied for new emission permits in 2013.

Neste Oil procures the majority of the additional emission allowances it needs through the EU's Emissions Trading System. Some of its allowances have been covered through a commitment to invest a maximum of EUR 5 million in GreenStream's Climate Opportunity Fund; this investment will give Neste Oil access to at least 264,000 emission allowances for the 2013–2020 trading period. Companies coming within the scope of the Emissions Trading System also have the opportunity to receive free emission allowances. The number of such free allowances has been reduced for the 2013–2020 trading period following a recent decision by the European Commission.