Executive at Pall Corp
- Renewable fuels – pretreatment technologies and capital equipment costs
- Production differences between RD (renewable diesel) and biodiesel
- Equipment supply chain and cost inflation
Could you give an overview of the key differences between the production process for RD [renewable diesel] and biodiesel?
What determines the success or failure of the production process, particularly that of RD but for biodiesel as well? What factors would you say determine the conversion rate of such a refinery? Is it mostly the equipment or the feedstock?
Do you see the pretreatment as necessary in today’s market, given what you said around the importance of the feedstocks and the different things that might be affecting yield there – impurities and water? This makes me think how significant the pretreatment portion is.
In terms of equipment, what are some of the options if you’re looking to buy a pretreatment? How much does that cost? Who are some of the manufacturers? What’s the supply chain like there?
What competitive factors across companies might be considered by a buyer looking for pretreatment equipment? Are they mostly competing on cost? Is it specialisation for the feedstock? Are some people more turnkey than others?
Does the equipment vary in terms of the pretreatment OPEX involved? How much is that OPEX per feedstock and do you think there are opportunities to lower that as the equipment improves?
What are the economies of scale with pretreatment? Do you even get any here or are they waiting to be unlocked as some of the recovery technologies advance?
How would you describe the economies of scale within the core hydro-treatment part of the RD plant? Do you get significantly better economics with larger plants for the rest of the process?
In terms of the tower and reactor side, you mentioned manufacturers. Could you share a cost breakdown in terms of what you see with the towers and parts of that process?
What maintenance do you typically expect to be required for the towers and hydrogenation?
What maintenance do you expect on the pretreatment side? Is that a similar time cycle?
Could you give a cost estimate of the total maintenance requirements?
Would you like to highlight anything else? We haven’t discussed some feedstock dynamics, but I think those came up incidentally while talking about equipment.
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