Zenith increases supply of renewable fuel in Pacific Northwest

By Zenith Energy | August 31, 2021

Zenith Energy, a global operator of independent liquid storage terminals, announced on Aug. 27 a nearly three-fold increase in the amount of low-carbon, renewable diesel to be handled and stored at the Portland facility.

This increase is the result of a new, long-term commitment with an existing customer who is committed to a low-carbon economy and providing renewable fuels to the greater Portland area. This commitment further supports Zenith's vision of the Portland Terminal as a premier logistical asset in the handling of renewable fuels, which will assist the city in meeting its own goals for reduction in the use of fossil fuels in support of the Oregon Clean Fuels Program.

"We acquired this Terminal to capitalize on the growing demand for renewable fuels in Oregon and throughout the western United States. This growth is being driven by aggressive and necessary carbon reduction goals being set by municipalities, states and the private sector," said Zenith CEO Jeff Armstrong. "The Portland Terminal can play a significant role in helping Oregon meet its carbon reduction goals by making clean, renewable fuels readily available for public and private sector fleet owners."

After assuming operation of the Terminal in 2017, Zenith terminated the crude oil export contract held by the prior operator and shifted its focus to meeting the West Coast's growing need for renewable fuels. With the commitments announced today, Zenith estimates that 17 percent of the fuels stored at the Portland Terminal will be renewable by the end of 2021 and predicts that renewable fuels will constitute nearly half the Portland Terminal's capacity by 2026. Zenith is in the process of acquiring permits for the Portland Terminal to build dedicated renewable fuel infrastructure to meet the anticipated market demand.

"Since transportation fuels are the world's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, the transition of the Portland Terminal's capacity to an increased focus on renewable fuels demonstrates the impact Oregon can make by reshaping its existing energy infrastructure," said Armstrong. "Because renewable diesel works with the transportation industry's existing distribution infrastructure and engines, Oregon's network of pipelines, storage tanks, and fueling sites can be repurposed to rapidly scale its availability. This is a major advantage that will enable renewable diesel to replace fossil fuels faster and more affordably."

The benefits of renewable diesel are well documented. Renewable fuels have been shown to result in an up to 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to fossil fuels. Over the past decade, California's use of renewable diesel has prevented more than 30 million tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Renewable diesel also significantly reduces other pollution, including fine particles, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide.