Louisiana’s Bright Renewable Diesel Future

Already home to one facility, the state has DOE support for another
By Luke Geiver | February 09, 2011

If there were ever a state-by-state competition for renewable diesel, Louisiana would be winning. Already home to the highly-touted, first-of-its-kind renewable diesel facility in Geismar known as Dynamic Fuels, the state will someday feature another facility as well. The U.S. DOE has offered a conditional commitment in a $241 million loan guarantee to Diamond Green Diesel LLC, the joint venture project between Valero Energy Corp. and Darling International Inc. that will combine Valero’s expertise in designing, constructing and running a refinery, with Darling’s ability to provide what so many projects lack—a consistent feedstock supply. On the project, energy secretary Steven Chu says that “strong biofuels projects like Diamond Green Diesel” can strengthen an economy and grow jobs. Chu wasn’t kidding. The project is expected to create more than 700 jobs during construction and employ at least 60 when operational.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says the loan guarantee demonstrates the dedication by the current administration to support advanced biofuels, and Lisa P. Jackson, U.S. EPA administrator, says the announcement showed that “we can protect our health, preserve our environment and improve our economy at the same time.” U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., says the project will not only help Louisiana, but also the nation. UOP will be providing its patented Ecofining process, which hydrogenates triglycerides or free fatty acid feedstocks. The resulting paraffins are then isomerized to create the renewable diesel product, one that Louisiana will soon be very familiar with.

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