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Valero, Darling announce plans for renewable diesel plant in Port Arthur

Valero Energy and Darling Ingredients announced on Monday the development of plans to build a renewable diesel refinery in Port Arthur.

The refinery, a joint venture between Valero and Darling through their subsidiary Diamond Green Diesel, are conducting an advanced engineering and development cost review for the new plant, which would take advantage of refining capabilities at Valero’s current Port Arthur plant.

The plant is expected to produce 400 million gallons of renewable diesel and 40 million gallons of naphtha each year, according to a new release.

Final decisions on the plant aren’t expected until 2021, with the plant to come into operation in 2024.

Diamond Green Diesel currently operates a renewable diesel refinery in Norco, La., which is capable of producing approximately 275 million gallons of renewable diesel per year and is undergoing expansion to increase production to 675 million gallons.

The addition of the Port Arthur plant would boost production to 1.1 billion gallons of renewable diesel per year.

“We expect low-carbon fuel mandates across the globe to continue to drive demand growth for renewable fuels,” said Joe Gorder, Valero chairman, president and CEO, in the release.

“This project would meaningfully expand our renewable diesel segment, which continues to generate strong results, and demonstrates our commitment to environmentally responsible operations.”

The Port Arthur plant would be the first of its kind in Texas.

Renewable diesel is a hydrocarbon made from rendered animal fats cooking oil and inedible corn oil. It is fully compatible with existing engines and can be transported through current pipeline infrastructure.

Renewable diesel may also cut carbon emissions by up to 80 percent as compared to regular diesel, according to information on Diamond Green Diesel’s website.