US DOE offers $241M conditional loan guarantee to renewable diesel plant based on UOP’s hydrotreating/isomerization process
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is offering a conditional commitment to Diamond Green Diesel, LLC, the proposed joint venture between Valero Energy Corporation and Darling International Inc. (earlier post), for a $241-million loan guarantee to support the construction of a 137-million gallon per year renewable diesel facility in Norco, Louisiana, about 20 miles west of New Orleans.
The project will produce renewable diesel fuel primarily from animal fats, used cooking oil and other waste grease streams. The project will be the first application of its kind in the US to use UOP’s Ecofining hydrotreating/isomerization process (earlier post) and a pretreatment process from Desmet Ballestra Group, to converts processed feedstock into high-quality diesel. UOP is a Honeywell company.
Valero Energy Corporation plans to direct the design, construction and operation of the project and market all of its output, while Darling International Inc. will supply feedstock to the renewable diesel project.
Separately, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced three conditional loan guarantees worth $405 million for three biorefinery plants using gasification-based processes to produce renewable fuels. (Earlier post.)
As part of the Department of Energy’s comprehensive strategy to support the production of advanced biofuels, Energy Secretary Chu also announced the launch of a new online collaboration tool and data resource focused on bioenergy. The “Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework” allows researchers, policymakers and investors to share large data sets, as well as the latest bioenergy research. The Framework also is intended to facilitate collaborative production, integration and analysis of information.
Registered users will be able to contribute data sets that can then be shared, expanding the body of knowledge, better informing this growing industry and eliminating information silos. The Framework allows simultaneous geographic mapping of complex data sets such as biomass feedstock production, fueling stations and biorefineries on a national, state, and even county-level basis—providing the bioenergy industry an analytical tool for identifying new opportunities for research, supportive policies and project investment.