Factbox: Big oil traders start investing in renewables

LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s big oil trading firms are investing heavily in environmentally-friendly projects as they face increasing pressure from investors, governments, activists and financiers to find a sustainable business model.

A wind farm shares space with corn fields in Latimer, Iowa, U.S. February 2, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Vitol said last year 80% of its revenues came from oil and refined products. For Gunvor and Trafigura, their traded oil volume was around 70% each. For Glencore, oil accounts for around half of its traded volumes while metals and coal account most of the remainder.

Of the big trading groups, Mercuria stands alone with power, gas and emissions accounting for two thirds of its traded volumes, according to its 2018 results.

Following is a list of assets and investments based on company websites and statements:


**Bought ethanol plant in South Bend, Indiana in 2018 that produces 100 million gallons per year.

**Waste oils plant in Brunsbuettel, Germany that produces 250,000 tonnes per year of biodiesel.


**Wind farm in West Virginia producing 264 MW.

**Wind farm in Texas producing 150 MW.

**Bought controlling stake in Delta Energy Group that recycles tires in 2017.


**Restarted power trading in January with a new team in London.

**Bought two biofuel plants that process waste oils in Spain in 2019, in Huelva and Berantevilla, with a combined capacity of 150,000 tonnes per year.

**Plans to invest hundreds of millions to cut refinery emissions and add a hydrotreated vegetable oil unit to its Rotterdam refinery in the Netherlands.


**Set up first power and renewables division in 2019

**Intends to set an emissions intensity reduction target this year.

**Bought a share in German “green hydrogen” start-up Hy2gen last year. It will produce hydrogen using wind and solar power to split water molecules.

**Invested in a solar project in Mali via clean power developer PASH Global.

**Invested in Finnish mining firm Terrafame for EV battery metal supplies in 2018.

**Terrafame plans to build a plant to produce EV battery chemicals financed by Trafigura.


**Invested $200 million in VLC Renewables, a joint venture with Low Carbon.

**Through VLC, building a 500 MW wind farm in Ukraine to be completed in 2021.

**Has put online 49 megawatts of solar power in U.S. out of a total of 156 MW approved. The largest is Ben Morell Solar Farm in New Jersey at 28.5 MW.

**Invested in a bio digester in Idaho that converts 350,000 gallons of cow manure into 700,000 cubic feet of bio methane per day.

**Invested in start-up Arq that turns coal waste into a low-sulfur oil.

**Invested in start-up Quantafuel to transform plastic waste into diesel.

**Part of project to build the world’s first zero carbon industrial cluster in UK’s Humber estuary.

**If approved, carbon emissions could fall by 5 million tonnes a year by using hydrogen and carbon capture and storage at Vitol’s Immingham power plant linked to two nearby refineries.


**Part-owned subsidiary, Glencore Agriculture has six biodiesel processing plants, including in Argentina and Germany.

**Said in February last year that it would cap annual coal output at 145 million tonnes.

**Has reduced the use of diesel generation at some remote mines with hydroelectricity, wind and EV vehicles.

**Aims to cut its emissions intensity by 5% from its 2016 figures by next year.

(Graphic: Oil traders’ revenues and profits png link: here)

Reporting By Julia Payne. Editing by Jane Merriman

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