New Partnership Brings Renewable Diesel to Southeast US

Terminal Investment Corp. recently secured a contract through Colonial Oil to obtain renewable diesel fuel from Espoo, Finland-based Neste. (Neste)

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A new source of renewable diesel is making its way into the southeastern U.S. for commercial operations such as trucks operating at the Port of Savannah through a partnership among Gateway Terminals, Terminal Investment Corp., Colonial Oil Industries Inc. and Espoo, Finland-based Neste.

“Sourcing renewable diesel in the U.S. and on the East Coast has been a challenge due to high demand on the West Coast,” Joanne Caldwell, director of risk management and sustainability at Georgia Ports Authoritytold Transport Topics. “GPA is excited that TICO, through Colonial Oil, was able to secure a reliable source of renewable diesel from Neste.”

Caldwell explained that TICO provides equipment, maintenance, servicing and jockey trucks GPA uses to dray containers — including the fuel for those trucks. TICO’s history at the Port of Savannah began five decades ago when it started handling container operations.

Recently TICO secured a contract through Colonial Oil to obtain renewable diesel fuel from Neste, Caldwell noted. The biofuel is now being used in jockey trucks on site at GPA’s Garden City Terminal. Gateway Terminals LLC Savannah is a stevedore company for high-performance container terminal operations.

“No financial amendments were made to the existing contract between GPA or TICO in connection with their recent conversion from standard diesel to renewable diesel,” Caldwell added. “Renewable diesel is made from animal fats and waste oils, thereby cutting the emissions generated during manufacturing and refining processes. By replacing standard diesel with renewable diesel, GPA, Georgia and the world all benefit from reduced carbon dioxide emissions.”

She said GPA is exploring other ways to use renewables and other alternative fuels for equipment in operation at the port.

A few months ago, Colonial Oil Industries — among the largest U.S. independent oil and gas companies — announced the renewable diesel supply partnership with Neste, TICO and Gateway Terminals to provide the biofuel.

Gateway Terminals CEO Kevin Price said, “In the drive to cut supply chain emissions, renewable diesel is a welcome option that both integrates well into current delivery models and provides important overall reductions in carbon and particulate matter. We are encouraged that Colonial Oil is bringing this product to market to help improve global air quality.”

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Companies, particularly in California where regulators are pursuing aggressive legislation that aims to wind down fossil fuels, are increasingly turning to renewable diesel as an easy and cost-effect way to lower emissions, especially since it is an easy replacement requiring no modifications to switch from traditional diesel fuel.

“This partnership increases the availability of renewable diesel in the state of Georgia and throughout the Southeast. The renewable diesel will be supplied by Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel and a forerunner in developing renewable and circular feedstock solutions for polymers and chemicals,” Colonia Oil Industries stated.

Colonial Oil President Bob Kenyon said his company is proud to introduce renewable fuels into its product line for its land and marine customers.

“We endeavor to be the energy partner of choice in the markets we serve, and our strategic relationship with Neste accelerates this ambition,” Kenyon said. Colonial has been in business for more than a century.

Neste has embarked on plans to raise its annual production capacity to 1.9 billion gallons of renewable products worldwide this year. It was among the first companies to supply renewable diesel to California and Oregon, and is rapidly expanding its production, fueling station network and distribution capabilities to meet increasing U.S. for renewable diesel.

Its 2023 Annual Report, released March 1, proclaimed that it helped customers last year lower their greenhouse gas emissions by 11 million tons.

“Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a drop-in solution for all diesel-powered vehicles. Its use does not require any changes to existing engines or logistics,” the report stated. “In 2023, our customers were able to reduce their GHG emissions by up to 95% (European market methodology) or up to 75% (North American market) when switching from fossil diesel to Neste MY Renewable Diesel.”



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