Diamond Green Diesel receives air permit for proposed Texas plant

By Erin Voegele | October 28, 2020

Darling Ingredients announced on Oct. 27 that its Diamond Green Diesel joint venture has received necessary air permits for its proposed renewable diesel plant in Port Arthur, Texas. A final investment decision is expected to be reached soon.

Diamond Green Diesel is a joint venture of Darling Ingredients and a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corp. The joint venture currently operates a 275 MMgy renewable diesel in Norco, Louisiana, near a Valero refinery. That facility is undergoing an expansion to 675 MMgy, which is expected to be complete next year.

Darling and Valero announced in September 2019 that the joint venture was considering developing a 400 MMgy renewable diesel plant in Port Arthur, Texas, which would also be located near an existing Valero refinery. That project is now one step closer to reality.

Darling issued a statement on Oct. 27 announcing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has issued the necessary air permit to the proposed Port Arthur biorefinery. Daring said Diamond Green Diesel is continuing to work through its gated project development process and final investment decision is expected to be reached early next year.

"Our timeline to construct an additional 400 million gallons of renewable diesel production in Port Arthur, Texas is on schedule," said Randall Stuewe, chairman and CEO of Darling Ingredients. "DGD is in the process of finalizing Phase III engineering plans and cost estimates to build another state of the art facility. We anticipate that both joint venture partners' board of directors will be in a position to approve moving forward with the project in early 2021. As we meet this investment decision timeframe, we believe that DGD III would be operational in 2024."

"Darling's vertically integrated supply chain provides DGD with superior low cost feedstocks, and when combined with the refining expertise of our joint venture partner, supports DGD's position as the lowest cost producer of renewable fuels in North America," Stuewe added. 

Development of the Port Arthur facility would boost Diamond Green Diesel’s annual renewable diesel production capacity to 1.1 billion gallons per year. The two facilities would also be capable of producing a combined 100 million gallons of renewable naphtha annually.

Joseph Gorder, chairman and CEO of Valero, addressed the company’s renewable diesel business and development of the Port Arthur project during the company’s third quarter earnings call, held Oct. 22. He said Valero’s renewable diesel business remains resilient and confirmed expansion of the Norco, Louisiana, facility is on track to be completed in 2021. Regarding the Port Arthur facility, Gorder said Diamond Green Diesel continues to make progress on the advanced engineering review of the proposed facility.