UPS Inc. said today it will buy up to 46 million gallons of renewable diesel fuel for its U.S. operations during the next three years, a 15-fold increase over the amount it had committed to purchase under prior contracts.
The Atlanta-based transport and logistics giant said it will buy the fuels from Finnish company Neste Corp., the world's largest producer of renewable diesel; Ames, Iowa-based Renewable Energy Group Inc., and South San Francisco-based Solazyme Inc. By the end of 2017, UPS expects to shift 12 percent of its fuel purchases supporting its vast domestic ground pickup and delivery network from conventional diesel and gasoline to alternative fuels, which include renewables.
Kristen Petrella, a UPS spokeswoman, said the purchases announced today are only for the U.S. market. The company will look to expand its use of renewables to non-U.S. markets once more refineries come on line that can produce the product. Currently, renewable diesel is made only in Finland, Rotterdam, Singapore, and Louisiana, she said.
Renewable diesel is an advanced hydrocarbon-based fuel that is interchangeable with petroleum diesel. Bio-based feedstocks from fats, plant oils, and waste residues are converted to renewable diesel using advanced refining technologies. UPS has used renewable fuels for more than a year in Texas and Louisiana.