Our water usage – efficient and constantly monitored

Water and steam are used in Neste’s refining operations. Most, actually almost all, of our water consumption takes place in connection with refining. In addition to refining, water is used at terminals, in shipping, and by the station network. We regularly monitor water consumption and aim to minimize it wherever possible.

We also take water-related aspects into account in the procurement of renewable feedstocks and in choosing suppliers. For example, we require our palm oil suppliers to carry out regular monitoring of water usage.

Production of renewable fuels is very water-efficient

Most of the water used by us is consumed in the production of fossil fuels. Cooling is the biggest application of water usage. Refining renewable fuel consumes relatively little water, as water is mainly only used in generating steam. Because of its size, the Porvoo refinery is Neste's largest single water user.

Where does the water we use come from?

The sources for the water we use are:

  • the River Maas in Rotterdam
  • the Mustijoki river in Porvoo, and
  • the Kokemäenjoki river in Naantali.

The refinery in Singapore primarily uses recycled wastewater; the rest of its water needs are met with rainwater, surface water purchased from Malaysia, and desalinated seawater provided by the Public Utilities Board.

Water cools down the process

Refinery processes require cooling which is realized using water or air. All of our refineries employ closed-cycle cooling systems, so the cooling water is not contaminated. The process water in these systems is cooled using seawater or air cooling. Seawater is used at all the company's refineries except in Rotterdam, where cooling water is bought in from an outside supplier. Seawater is returned to the sea after use.

Wastewater is treated before discharge into waterways

Treated wastewater is discharged into waterways in Porvoo, Naantali, and Rotterdam refineries. Before being discharged into waterways, all wastewater passes through on-site treatment plants. Wastewater from the Singapore refinery is not discharged into the sea; it goes to a local wastewater treatment plant after pre-treatment. The treatment includes physical-chemical and biological processes. Part of the treated wastewater is treated further into process water.

Monitoring waterways

We monitor the sea areas off our refineries in Finland and the quality of the water there in collaboration with outside experts. Monitoring covers water quality, the organisms found on or near the seabed, and local fisheries. The authorities are responsible for monitoring marine conditions in Rotterdam.