Renewable Diesel & SAF Roundup

A roundup of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel news from the 2022 Issue 1 edition of Biomass Magazine.
By Biomass Magazine | February 01, 2022

AEMETIS has signed a 10-year, 450-million-gallon renewable diesel supply agreement with an industry-leading travel stop com­pany. The agreement represents the largest supply contract signed by Aemetis for its Riverbank Carbon Zero Plant, according to Eric McAfee, founder and chairman. The 90 MMgy sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel plant is under development on the 125-acre former U.S. Army Ammunition plant in Riverbank, California, and will utilize cellulosic hydrogen from waste forest and orchard wood, along with on-site CO2 carbon sequestration and hydroelec­tric power.

Haldor Topsoe
announced its HydroFlex technology will be used to produce renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at two proposed greenfield biorefineries under development in California and Missouri by Indaba Renewable Fuels. Topsoe will also provide its H2bridge hydrogen technology for both facilities, each of which is  expected to have a production capacity of 6,500 barrels per day. The plans are anticipated to begin fuel production in 2024.

Marathon and ADM have closed a feedstock partnership to produce soybean oil to supply rapidly growing demand for renewable diesel. The joint venture, named Green Bison Soy Processing LLC, will own and operate a soybean processing complex in Spiritwood, North Dakota, with ADM owning 75% of the joint venture and MPC owning 25%, as announced in August. Expected to be complete in 2023, the $350 million Spiritwood facility will source and process local soybeans and supply the resulting soybean oil exclusively to MPC. The Spiritwood complex is expected to produce enough soybean oil annually for 75 million gallons of renewable diesel per year.

Sinclair Wyoming Refining Co. has selected Applied Research Associates Inc. to supply its Hydrothermal Cleanup pretreatment technology for the development of a 7,500-barrel-per-day  renewable feedstock pretreatment unit at Sinclair’s renewable diesel refinery in Sinclair, Wyoming.  Sinclair, a renewable diesel producer since 2018, will use its HCU Pretreat unit to expand the feedstock slate that can be processed in its existing renewable diesel facility. Detailed design of the HCU Pretreat project is complete, and Sinclair has initiated construction of the facility. The HCU Pretreat unit is expected to be commissioned in 2022.

A subsidiary of CVR Energy Inc. has selected Honeywell UOP’s Ecofining technology to study conversion of seed oils, tallow and white/yellow greases into renewable diesel fuel at its facility in Coffeyville, Kansas. CVR Energy is currently evaluating the conversion of an existing hydroprocessing unit to a single-stage Ecofining unit to produce approximately 11,000 barrels per day of renewable diesel and jet fuels.

In early December, Viking Energy Group Inc. announced it has entered into a membership interest purchase agreement to acquire a 100% interest in a group of companies developing a renewable diesel plant in Reno, Nevada. According to Viking, the facility has a nameplate production capacity of 43 MMgy and was 95% complete at the time of the announcement. A pretreatment unit under construction within the plant was approximately 30% complete, the company added.

Booster, the tech-enabled energy delivery service for fleets, has converted more than 90 of its diesel customers with close to 1,200 vehicles to renewable fuels within the first month of its recently announced decarbonization initiative. The company said it will help Booster’s customers cut emissions by more than 70%. Booster notified its fleet customers last month of its plans to transition vehicles from traditional fuels to renewable diesel before the end of the year. The change follows an announcement by Booster and Renewable Energy Group, one of North America’s largest producers of advanced biodiesel, to offer mobile delivery of renewable fuels to fleets.

Pratt & Whitney has signed a memorandum of understanding with Embraer to collaborate on studies of 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Technical teams from the two companies will engage to define an integrated ground and flight test plan for 100% SAF in a GTF-powered Embraer E195-E2 aircraft. Powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines, the Embraer E195-E2 offers more than 24% better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions per seat than the previous generation E195.

The U.S. EIA recently changed the way its reports biofuel data in its Monthly Energy Review. The agency now breaks down data into four categories, including ethanol, biodiesel, renewable diesel and other biofuels. The EIA implemented the change in October by incorporating new biofuels data from its revised EIA-819 survey into the Monthly Energy Review. Prior to the change, the agency lumped biodiesel, renewable diesel and other nonethanol biofuels into a single category.

British Airways will become the first airline in the world to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) produced on a commercial scale in the U.K. after signing a multiyear agreement with Phillips 66 Ltd. Thousands of metric tons of SAF will be produced for the first time in the U.K. at the Phillips 66 Humber Refinery near Immingham, and supplied to British Airways to power a number of flights from early 2022. The SAF will be produced from sustainable waste feedstock at the Humber Refinery, which will deliver its SAF supply to British Airways via existing pipeline infrastructure that feeds directly into U.K. airports.

For the first time ever, OMV and Austrian Airlines are producing and using regional sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Austria. The two companies agreed on the production and fueling of 1,500 metric tons of SAF in the coming year 2022. The fuel is produced at the OMV Schwechat Refinery by coprocessing Austrian used cooking oil in the fuel production process. With a direct pipeline connection to the Vienna International Airport, SAF will be available for fueling Austrian Airlines aircraft as of March 2022, the companies said.
 
Howard Energy Partners announced in mid-December the closing of a series of strategic financing transactions, including its inaugural senior unsecured notes offering, and an extension of its $1 billion revolving credit facility. The proceeds from the transactions will, among other things, help finance the previously announced build-out of HEP’s major renewable diesel logistics facility in Port Arthur, Texas, which is underpinned by a long-term agreement with Diamond Green Diesel, a 50/50 joint venture between Valero Energy Corp. and Darling Ingredients Inc. The construction of HEP’s state-of-the-art renewable diesel logistics facility is underway. The facility is expected to be in-service in the fourth quarter of 2022.

U.S. biofuels production capacity expanded to nearly 20.87 billion gallons per year in October, according to data released by the U.S. EIA in late December. Capacity for renewable diesel and other biofuels, including renewable heating oil, renewable jet fuel, renewable naphtha, renewable gasoline and other biofuels and biointermediates, expanded by 103 MMgy for the month, from 911 MMgy in September to 1.014 billion gallons per year in October.

In-state companies can now apply for the Kentucky Renewable Chemical Production Program, Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles announced. The program provides an economic incentive for agribusinesses to look at ways to make new products out of renewable diesel or biodiesel, through tax credits incentivizing the production of more than 30 specified chemicals derived from biomass feedstocks. The program will share tax credits previously established for renewable diesel or biodiesel production in the commonwealth. The total amount of tax credit will be five cents per molecular pound of weight of renewable chemicals produced in Kentucky by an eligible business, unless the total amount of approved credits for all taxpayers exceeds the annual cap of $10 million for the program.

Darling Ingredients Inc. reported it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the shares of Valley Proteins Inc. for approximately $1.1 billion in cash. Valley Proteins operates 18 major rendering and used cooking oil facilities throughout the southern, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S. regions. Valley employs 1,900 and operates a fleet of 550 vehicles. Darling Chairman and CEO Randall Stuewe said Valley Proteins will supplement Darling’s global supply of waste fats and greases.  The new supply will provide Darling with additional low-carbon feedstock to produce renewable diesel, and potentially, sustainable aviation fuel.