Renewable Energy Group, a biodiesel producer focused on converting natural fats, oils and greases into advanced fuels, celebrated completion of a $21 million upgrade to its 30-million gallon biodiesel refinery in Albert Lea, Minnesota.
The expansion enables the plant to utilize multiple raw materials, such as waste animal fats and greases and inedible corn oil, in addition to the refined vegetable oils the facility was originally built to process. Within days of start-up all biodiesel produced at Albert Lea met the company’s quality specifications, which exceed the industry’s ASTM B100 standard.
“We completed the upgrades at REG Albert Lea on time and on budget,” said Daniel J. Oh, Renewable Energy Group, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer. “That is a testament to the hard work of our team and contractors.”
With the recent acquisition of the former SoyEnergy, LLC plant in nearby Mason City, Iowa, REG now has 8 active biorefineries in 5 states with a combined annual production capacity of more than 255 million gallons.
“With these upgrades, REG Albert Lea stands ready to supply more high-quality biodiesel in Minnesota as the state prepares to increase its blending from B5 to B10,” Oh said. “Minnesota is one of a growing number of states that recognize how biodiesel helps make us more energy secure and environmentally sustainable.”
Senator Al Franken, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Energy Subcommittee said, “as a member of the Senate Energy Committee, I know Minnesota has always been a leader in renewable energies like biodiesel because they are so important to our state's economic and energy future. This expansion of REG's biorefinery has not only created jobs, but also will contribute to reducing our reliance on foreign oil and keeping our environment clean.”