Europe: pure HVO available in nine European countries

In 2021, pure hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO 100) is available in nine European countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. For off-road or captive fleet purposes only, it is available in Germany, the UK and Switzerland. HVO is blended in diesel in most Western European countries, as indicated in the figure below.
In 2009, the European Union (EU) approved a 10% renewable energy share target for transport. At the time biodiesel and bioethanol were the most mature technologies to meet this target. However, Neste Oil soon pioneered HVO production. Until 2016, HVO was used as a blending component in diesel mainly in the Nordic countries. In contrast to biodiesel, there is no legal blending restriction for HVO in conventional diesel grade as long as the final blend complies with the EU Fuel Quality Directive 98/70/EC as amended and/or standard for diesel EN 590 Automotive fuels - Diesel - Requirements and test methods.
In 2016, the European Standardization Committee (CEN) approved a standard, EN 15940 Automotive fuels - Paraffinic diesel fuel from synthesis or hydrotreatment - Requirements and test methods, which promoted HVO sales in a pure form. This was enhanced by several truck and, more recently car producers, announcing their vehicles' compatibility with HVO 100.
Nowadays, HVO has out pathed biodiesel and bioethanol in terms of production capacity growth. In 2021, HVO standalone production capacity was around 3.523 million tonnes. It could grow to 10 million tonnes by 2030. The Netherlands, currently, hosts the largest HVO production plant. New capacities are coming up in France, Italy, Sweden and Finland. The current co-processed capacity for HVO is around 1.780 millon tonnes and it could grow to 2.080 million tonnes by 2030. Most of this capacity is located in Spain.
In 2019, Europe consumed around 1.863 million tonnes of HVO. France was the biggest consumer followed by Norway, Spain and Sweden. SGS INSPIRE expects that its consumption could grow to around 7 million tonnes by 2030 as fuel suppliers have to meet a stringent 13% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity reduction target for renewable energy used in transport by 2030 as proposed by the European Commission on July 14, 2021. The target still has to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. Until then, fuel suppliers for road transport have to comply with a 14% renewable energy share target set for 2030.
HVO availability in Europe
Description: HVO map
Source: SGS INSPIRE, 2021
For more detailed information:
Please see our report for HVO outlook for 2030 - also available on the SGS Online Store here.
Quality requirements according to standards EN 590 and EN 15940, see SGS INSPIRE fuel specification database
Fit for 55 package proposed on July 14, 2021, see SGS INSPIRE presentation
EU and member states renewable energy share targets for transport, the EU country profile for diesel.