Vertex: Alabama plant to begin renewable diesel production in Q2

By Erin Voegele | January 19, 2023

Vertex Energy Inc. on Jan. 17 has announced the renewable diesel conversion project at its refinery in Mobile, Alabama, is expected to be mechanically complete in March. Renewable diesel production is scheduled to begin in the second quarter.

According to Vertex, the project will convert the refinery’s existing hydrocracking unit to produce renewable diesel fuel on a standalone basis. The company completed shutdown of the hydrocracker unit on Jan. 6 to finalize the conversion project. The converted unit is initially expected to have the capacity to produce 8,000 to 10,000 barrels per day of renewable diesel. Production capacity is expected to increase to 14,000 barrels per day following the installation of additional required infrastructure.

“Our progress on the construction of the renewable diesel conversion project continues to track right in-line with our planned timeline and budget, something I am very proud of given the scale and breadth of the project,” said Benjamin P. Cowart, president and CEO of Vertex. “We continue to expect the unit to be brought back online following the planned 70-day outage in mid-March with full mechanical completion anticipated shortly thereafter.”

“Our Q4 2022 throughput volumes reflect the strength in operational performance I know the team is capable of,” Cowart continued. “With refining margins remaining strong and the team executing on the ground in Mobile, I look forward to updating the market on our full Q4 2022 results in the near future.”

Vertex first announced plans to acquire the refinery in Mobile and convert it to renewable diesel production in mid-2021. The conversion project was originally scheduled to be complete in late 2022. The slight delay was announced in September 2022 and attributed to COVID-19 induced product delays, global supply chain shortages, and related factors.