Elevance to build 1st North American biorefinery

Elevance Renewable Sciences has finally chosen the site for its first commercial-scale biorefinery in North America as it bought a biofuels facility in Natchez, Mississippi, owned by Delta Biofuels.

In a press release last Tuesday, Elevance said it will convert the 800,000 sq. ft facility into a world-scale biorefinery and derivatives operation with multi-phase project for the next five years. According to various sources (given that the Delta Biofuels site is down), biodiesel capacity for the facility was around 80m gal/year and uses soybean oil/animal fats for feedstock.

Elevance did not disclose any capacity numbers for the new $225m biorefinery but said (via ICIS news) that it will reveal capacity details once detailed engineering work takes place.

The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) will reportedly provide financial assistance to support the upgrade of a port in Adams County (Natchez) which is critical for the transport of feedstock as well as the biorefinery’s products. The port will include railway access to the biorefinery as well as liquid loading and vapor recovery capabilities (I’ve been reading several local news reports from Natchez…)

According to Natchezdemocrat.com, the Adams County Port, roadways near the port and the railroad will receive $6.5m in infrastructure upgrades. The port itself will fund $1.5 million of the work, the board of supervisors will provide $3 million and the MDA will fund $2 million in grants.

In a second phase, Elevance has pledged to invest $7m in the port for additional upgrades, according to the article. The MDA will also provide a $25m loan to Elevance.

The blog recently posted more about Elevance’s latest specialty chemical production expansion and recent partnerships. In a surfactants conference, an Elevance official said the company plans to scale-up to a billion gallon capacity across the globe (4 assets in Asia, 3 in North America and 3 in South America) by 2019.

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