CVR Energy: Progress continues on renewable diesel conversions

By Erin Voegele | May 06, 2021

CVR Energy Inc. on May 4 announced progress is continuing on its two renewable diesel projects. The conversion process at the Wynnewood, Oklahoma, refinery is continuing with slight delays, while a feasibility study is underway on the proposed conversion at the company’s refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas.  

David Lamp, CEO of CVR Energy, discussed both projects during the company’s first quarter earnings call, held May 4. He confirmed construction continues on the Wynnewood renewable diesel unit, but noted severe weather in February and delays in equipment deliveries have caused slight delays. The company previously expected the unit to be online in mid-2021. Lamp said CVR Energy now expects the unit to be online by the end of the third quarter.

“We have made significant progress and have recently signed agreements for feedstock supply and terminalling,” he said. “And we are in negotiations on product marketing.”

Lamp also said that costs for the conversion project are being affected by weather delays and higher material costs. He said the company now expects the total cost of the project to be $135 million to $140 million.

Feedstock costs have also recently increased, Lamp said, but stressed that higher prices for diesel and renewable identification numbers (RINs) have partially offset the increase in feedstock prices. “In addition, we now believe we’ll be able to run the Wynnewood refinery at higher rates post renewable diesel conversion than we previously expected,” he said.  Lamp did not provide an estimate of what that higher rate will be, but the company previously said the Wynnewood conversion was expected to allow the refinery to produce nearly 100 MMgy of renewable diesel and 6 MMgy of renewable naphtha.

Phase two of CVR’s planned renewable diesel initiatives would involve adding feedstock pretreatment capabilities at the Wynnewood refinery, allowing the plant to use lower cost and lower carbon intensity (CI) feedstocks. Lamp said the company is close to selecting technology for the potential phase two project.

Work is also underway on phase three, which would develop a similar renewable diesel conversion project at the Coffeyville refinery. Lamp said CVR Energy is starting the feasibility study for that proposed project.