REG opens 30m gal/year biodiesel refinery in Iowa, starts upgrades

28 October 2013 19:45  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS) --Renewable Energy Group (REG), a large US biodiesel producer and marketer, said on Monday that it has opened its biodiesel plant in Mason City, Iowa and started a $20m (€15m) upgrade to the facility.

The company said upon closing the acquisition from Soy Energy, it immediately began efforts to repair and re-start the plant and began producing biodiesel on 1 October.

"REG Mason City fits into our existing network of biodiesel plants very well and is an ideal location to bring in raw materials for biodiesel production, is a good distribution point, and is sited well to serve our customers and terminals," said Daniel Oh, chief executive of REG.

The 30m gal/year (114m litres/year) Mason City plant, originally built to process highly refined raw materials in 2006, was purchased by Soy Energy in 2010 and upgraded to utilize a larger variety of raw materials including animal fats and used cooking oil.

"With these upgrades, we will be able to utilize lower cost raw materials like inedible corn oil from ethanol production, used cooking oil and animal fats, with the majority coming from a close proximity to Mason City," Brad Albin, a company executive said.

The plant was idled in mid-2012 due to market conditions and manufacturing challenges.

REG now has eight active biorefineries in four states, with Mason City being the company's third Iowa facility, joining the company's first refinery in Ralston and a plant in Newton.

The company also has a multi-feedstock biorefinery in nearby Albert Lea, Minnesota, where a $21m multi-feedstock upgrade was just recently completed, the company said.

REG also has two refineries in both Illinois and Texas.

The REG-owned biodiesel production fleet has an annual production capacity of 257m gallons/year.

REG completed the acquisition of the refinery on 31 July this year.

Biodiesel is an alternative fuel, produced from renewable resources. The most commonly used feedstocks are rapeseed, soy and palm oil.

($1 = €0.73)

By: Leela Landress
+1 713 525 2653

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