Palm oil is the main ingredient being refined at the facility, alongside shea and other oils and fats. Production has begun and the refinery is expected to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2013.
Sustainability is an important driver, both in terms of sustainably sourced oils and reduced energy and water use at the facility, the company said.
Marketing manager for IOI Loders Croklaan Jan-Paul Back said: “Currently 15% of the palm oil we are processing is certified sustainable. This is significant as sustainable palm oil is only on the market for four years.”
He added that market demand for sustainable palm oil is increasing, as is the company’s certified palm oil supply. In addition, it has been delivering all of its products according to the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) mass balance system since 2011.
The mass balance system allows suppliers to combine some segregated RSPO certified oil and some standard oil, and allows users to use the RSPO trademark (with the word ‘Mixed’) and the claim: ‘Contributes to the production of certified sustainable palm oil’.
Business Unit Manager of the Specialty Fats division Patrick Cobussen said: “By making investments in these economically challenging times, IOI Loders Croklaan shows it is confident that European growth will return and affirms its position as a leader in the oils and fats industry.”
The company would not say how much it had invested in the new refinery, nor would it disclose its total refining capacity.