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Verbio starts expansion to build second biorefinery in North America

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Verbio has started construction to convert its South Bend ethanol plant into the second integrated biorefinery plant in North America. Members of Verbio management and public officials gathered in South Bend to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for this next milestone.

The facility will incorporate both the production of renewable natural gas (RNG) and bioethanol using an innovative production approach. The company, a subsidiary of biofuels and bioenergy producer, Verbio SE, received approval for its expansion proposal from the City of South Bend, US. in April 2024. Following the application of the Verbio technology and commissioning, Verbio targets a production capacity of at least 85 million gal. of corn ethanol and 2.8 billion ft3 of RNG annually.

South Bend Mayor, James Mueller, said: "We are excited about Verbio's expansion plans and their impact on our regional economy. As an industry leader in renewable natural gas production, Verbio will bring new life to the ethanol plant with cutting-edge green technology that will add to South Bend's clean energy portfolio."

In collaboration with the city, Verbio CEO, Claus Sauter, noted: "We look forward to creating meaningful employment opportunities for the citizens of South Bend and the surrounding area as the company expands its renewable energy footprint in the Midwest."

In this first phase of upgrading the South Bend plant over the next six months, Verbio will build the foundations for eight new anaerobic digester (AD) tanks. Major construction is planned for the second phase including the erection of an additional eight digesters, related piping and wiring, the construction of several new buildings and the addition of miscellaneous process equipment.

The RNG produced at Verbio South Bend will be fed to the regional natural gas grid and support the needs of industrial and commercial uses. Verbio acquired the plant in May 2023 from Mercuria Investments and announced an estimated total investment plan of US$230 million. Commercial production of RNG is expected to begin in 2026.

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