According to Kari Kolsi, director of Neste Oil’s of research and technology unit, the objective is to increase the yield of the rapeseed varieties by 40% by the year 2020. At the same time Neste Oil is actively widening the raw material base for its NExBTL diesel fuel, as well as strategically increasing the share of domestic raw materials in the production of renewable fuel.
Rapeseed is the most promising plant that can be cultivated in Finland as a raw material for renewable diesel fuel but current yields of about 1700kg per hectare do not fulfil the conditions of the European Union’s RES-directive. The directive conditions would be met if the harvest was at least 2000kg per hectare, according to studies by MTT Agrifood Research Finland. Already in 2008 new rapeseed varieties reached a yields more than 2600kg per hectare but the test varieties were more vulnerable than the existing varieties to bad weather.
Rapeseed is currently cultivated over about 70,000 hectares in Finland. Kolsi is confident that in the future the area under cultivation can be expanded significantly into fallow land. Currently, the total area of fallow fields in Finland is almost 230,000 hectares.