Diamond Green Diesel expansion complete, in start-up phase
Valero Energy Corp. announced in its third-quarter financials that the expansion project at Diamond Green Diesel, a renewable diesel joint venture between Valero and Darling Ingredients located at Valero’s St. Charles refinery in Norco, Louisiana, is complete and in the process of starting up. The expansion grew production capacity from 290 million gallons per year (mgy) to 690 mgy.
“We are excited to report that the Diamond Green Diesel expansion project at Valero’s St. Charles refinery was successfully completed on-budget and ahead of schedule,” said Joe Gorder, chairman and CEO of Valero. “This is a testament to the strength of our engineering and operations teams, who got this accomplished despite Hurricane Ida related challenges.”
Valero’s renewable diesel segment reported $108 million of operating income for the third quarter compared to $184 million for the third quarter of 2020. Renewable diesel sales volumes averaged 671,000 gallons per day in the third quarter of 2021, which was 199,000 gallons per day lower than the third quarter of 2020. The lower operating income and sales volumes in the third quarter of 2021 are mostly attributed to plant downtime due to Hurricane Ida.
The new Diamond Green Diesel plant at Valero’s Port Arthur refinery in Texas, expected to have a renewable diesel production capacity of 470 mgy, is “progressing well and is still expected to commence operations in the first half of 2023,” Valero reported. This will increase Diamond Green Diesel’s total annual production capacity to approximately 1.2 billion gallons of renewable diesel and 50 million gallons of renewable naphtha.