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Renewable Energy Group announces upgrade of biodiesel refinery

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REG) will invest US$31 million to upgrade and enhance the company’s biodiesel refinery based in Danville, Illinois. REG officials gathered in Danville with local and area leaders to break ground on the project.

“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.”

REG acquired the Danville biorefinery in 2010. The plant currently employs 34 full time workers and the upgrade project will utilise an additional 80 - 100 full-time contract workers. The project marks the sixth major biorefinery enhancement REG has undertaken since late 2012, following completed upgrades at its 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.

“REG 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 most notable upgrade at Danville 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 optimisation enhancements. The refinery’s distillation process removes impurities and leaves behind a pure form of biomass based diesel that 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 REG Danville facility by financing up to US$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.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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