ALBERT LEA, Minn. – Renewable Energy Group celebrated completion of upgrades to its 30 million gallon biodiesel refinery in southern Minnesota with a ribbon-cutting and visit by U.S. Sen. Al Franken, along with state and local leaders.
REG, which also has a biodiesel refinery in Seneca, began the $21 million project in October to upgrade the Albert Lea biorefinery, which 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.
The project was finished in June.
“We completed the upgrades at REG Albert Lea on time and on budget,” said Daniel J. Oh, Renewable Energy Group president and chief executive officer. “That is a testament to the hard work of our team and contractors.”
The upgrade project supported between 70 and 80 construction jobs.
With the recent acquisition of the former SoyEnergy plant in 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.”
Sen. Franken, who serves as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Energy Subcommittee, says the Albert Lea plant is one shining example of how biodiesel is a true success story of the Renewable Fuels Standard.
“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,” said Franken. “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. I congratulate REG on its upgrade and for its efforts to keep our state on the forefront of this important industry.”
Also on hand for the celebration were Minnesota Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture Charlie Poster, State Senator Dan Sparks, State Representative Shannon Savick and a host of local and area civic leaders and project contractors.
Renewable Energy Group® is a leading North American biodiesel producer with a nationwide distribution and logistics system. Utilizing an integrated value chain model, Renewable Energy Group is focused on converting natural fats, oils and greases into advanced biofuels. With more than 255 million gallons of owned/operated annual production capacity at biorefineries across the country, REG is a proven biodiesel partner in the distillate marketplace.
For more than a decade, REG has been a reliable supplier of biodiesel which meets or exceeds ASTM quality specifications. We sell REG-9000® biodiesel to distributors so Americans can have cleaner burning fuels that help lessen our dependence on foreign oil. REG-9000® branded biodiesel is distributed in nearly every state in the U.S.