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  • Cargill Inc.

Cargill leverages latest BDI technology for $150M waste-based biodiesel plant in Belgium

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

In a move to further strengthen its commitment to fight climate change and deliver a more circular economy, Cargill is constructing a multi waste- and residues-based biodiesel plant at its existing integrated oilseeds crush and Bioro biodiesel site in Ghent, Belgium. The groundbreaking $150 million project helps meet global renewable energy demand while protecting natural resources and enables Cargill to maintain its leading position across Europe, both in producing renewable fuels and providing customers with sustainable, responsible and safe solutions.

Photo: Cargill Inc.

With the new European Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) signaling the need to shift toward more advanced biofuels coming from waste and residues, Cargill is looking to stay ahead of the trend. According to Roger Janson, president of Cargill's agricultural supply chain across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the market will require new assets capable of processing more difficult feedstocks.  

"The new Cargill facility in Ghent will be the first plant in Europe capable of processing all kinds of feedstocks, including acid oils from vegetable oil refining, liquid residues from industrial processes, and even the fat recovered from sewage sludge from local municipalities," Janson said.

The plant will use very latest technology of BDI-BioEnergy International GmbH (the RepCat process) that enables the processing of all types of liquid waste oils and fats, including byproducts from food processing, and waste from the food industry, and nonfood crops grown on marginal land.

"Our share in this lighthouse project represents the largest order volume in BDI's history," said Markus Dielacher, CEO of BDI-BioEnergy International. "In spite of the generally known difficult economic conditions, we are very proud of this success. With RepCat, the multifeedstock biodiesel technology we developed, Cargill will be able to make an important contribution to the decarbonization of the European transport sector."

Alexis Cazin, managing director of Cargill Biodiesel, said, "Cargill's circular economy approach brings added sustainability benefits to not only our customers, but also to the end consumer, as the plant will utilize recycled products that would have previously been disposed of or used for low-value applications. In certain sectors such as transportation, developing high-blend solutions for trucks or significantly reduced carbon marine fuel for shipping can only be achieved using this waste processing technology. Advanced biodiesel from waste and residues will provide concrete, cost-effective solutions bringing major benefits to citizens, communities and the environment."

Cargill has been helping its customers address the need for renewable and sustainable products for nearly six decades across more than a dozen industries from building materials, beauty and personal care to power generation and performance chemicals like foams, candle wax and lubricants. It also encourages responsible, sustainable agricultural practices in the production of the raw materials used for these biobased solutions. In July, Cargill joined the global renowned Ellen MacArthur Foundation, standing alongside other companies, governments and academic institutions to promote and accelerate a circular economy, a vision and approach that focuses on reusing rather than discarding materials.

The new plant will have a biodiesel production capacity of 115,000 metric tons per year (approximately 35 MMgy). Construction will commence this month, with the plant due to open in June 2022. The new facility will create around 20 new direct jobs and an additional 60 indirect jobs in the Ghent community.

"Cargill is one of the most important biofuel producers in the world," said Hermann Stockinger, chief sales officer for BDI-BioEnergy International. "With the new plant, Cargill is focusing on future-proof biofuels from waste and residues, in accordance with RED II. The technology know-how and production plant for this comes from Austria."



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