REG completes SoyMor purchase in Albert Lea, Minn.

By Erin Voegele | July 13, 2011

Renewable Energy Group Inc. has completed the purchase of substantially all of SoyMor Biodiesel LLC’s assets in Albert Lea, Minn., including the30 MMgy biodiesel plant and the soy lecithin facility of SoyMor Cooperative, in exchange for common stock and the assumption of certain liabilities.

REG was the general contractor and manager for the plant, which originally began operations in April 2005. According to REG President Daniel Oh, the fact that his company built operated the plant is one of several factors that made the facility and attractive investment. “This is an asset that fits very well into our network and fleet of plants,” he said. “From an upper Midwest perspective, we like its location and its ability to serve Minnesota and their incentives they put in place for biodiesel. We built the plant, we are very familiar with the technology and are pleased with its performance. We’ve had a long relationship with the organization and it just made a lot of sense to put our companies together.”

Oh also notes that it is possible the plant could be upgraded in the future to process a wider range of feedstocks. The facility is currently designed to process refined vegetable oils. “We are evaluating what would be appropriate,” Oh said. “In general we believe that our fleet should be able to process multifeedstock raw material and we do desire to do that.”

Although he was unable to share a specific timeline for bringing the idle plant back online, Oh did note it would be soon. “We’re working right now to bring it back up online,” he said. “That form of work takes some time and there can be some variables, but we’re already communicating to our customers that quite soon we will have product available there.”

“Our REG manufacturing team is already on-site at the facility to re-start the biodiesel process in order to have high quality, REG-9000 biodiesel available in the market very soon,” said REG CEO Jeff Stroburg.  The company has also already begun the hiring process to employ more than 20 full-time, family-wage jobs including administrative positions, biodiesel plant operators and load-out staff.

“With nationwide demand for biodiesel growing steadily through implementation of the RFS2 and Minnesota’s continued biodiesel consumption leadership, we expect to quickly ramp up production at REG Albert Lea,” said Stroburg.  “With a foundation in agriculture and expertise in domestically produced, renewable energy, REG is proud to bring green collar jobs to this rural economy while supporting ag producers in Minnesota and across the Midwest.”

Oh also noted that the facility’s local community has been very supportive of the plant’s restart. “It’s another example of green collar jobs being important to the community,” he said. While he was unable to comment specifically on the acquisition of additional biodiesel plants, Oh did note that REG believes the industry is doing well and is looking for opportunities to grow.

 

 
 
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