Renewable Energy Group Announces $31 Million Upgrade of Illinois Biorefinery

Renewable Energy Group Biorefinery
Construction work already under way at Renewable Energy Group's 45-million gallon biodiesel refinery in Danville, Illinois. The improvements will include distillation capabilities along with storage, logistics and transportation enhancements. (Photo: Business Wire)

Renewable Energy Group, Inc.announced that it will invest $31 million to upgrade and enhance the Company’s Danville, Illinois biodiesel refinery.

REG officials gathered in Danville with local and area leaders to break ground on the project. The most notable upgrade will be the addition of biodiesel distillation capabilities to the 45-million gallon nameplate capacity biorefinery. Other planned upgrades include pretreat capacity improvements, along with storage, logistics and other optimization enhancements.

“Renewable Energy Group Danville already has a proven record of success as part of our network of multi-feedstock biorefineries,” said Daniel J. Oh, President and CEO. “Enhancing the capabilities here, as we have done at several of our other plants, can allow REG to provide greater volumes of lower cost, lower carbon, higher quality advanced biofuel to our customers that increases energy security, food security and environmental benefits for North America.”

The distillation process removes impurities and leaves behind a pure form of biomass-based diesel that far exceeds industry quality standards, while meeting REG’s more rigorous REG-9000™ specifications. The fuel also performs better in colder temperatures.

“These upgrades increase this biorefinery’s strong and healthy appetite for lower cost, waste feedstocks which are sourced locally and regionally from our supply chain partners,” said Brad Albin, Vice President, Manufacturing.

Fifth Third Bank will reinvest in the Renewable Energy Group Danville facility by financing up to $12 million of the cost of the project. The existing loan facility, which was nearly paid off, will provide additional funds and the term will be extended to December 2017.

REG acquired the Danville biorefinery in 2010. The plant currently employs 34 full-time workers and the upgrade project will utilize an additional 80-100 full-time contract workers.

“REG has been a dedicated partner to the City of Danville and we are excited by the additional investment they are making in our community,” said Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer. “We are very pleased by the jobs and economic develop this expansion brings.”

The Danville project marks the sixth major biorefinery enhancement REG has undertaken since late 2012, following completed upgrades at their Albert Lea, MN, Seneca, IL, Mason City and Newton, IA biodiesel plants and ongoing improvements at the Company’s renewable hydrocarbon diesel biorefinery in Geismar, LA.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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