Kentucky oil refinery moves forward with soybean crush, biodiesel facility
The Continental Refining Company announced April 28 that it is moving forward with previously released plans to invest an additional $20 million to acquire and install a soybean crushing, biodiesel refining and blending facility at the current CRC oil refinery in Somerset, Kentucky.
CRC’s crushing facility will process nearly 4 million bushels, or 84,000 tons, of soybean per year and will manufacture up to 5 million gallons a year (mgy) of biodiesel. In addition to biodiesel and glycerin made from the soybean oil crushed on-site, the facility will make and sell soybean meal and hulls. It will also sell gasoline and on- and off-road diesel with biodiesel content ranging from 6 to 100 percent. The CRC product terminal will have the ability to distribute more than 130 mgy of fuel.
CRC has completed its evaluation of the project feasibility and is currently making progress with detailed design, equipment procurement, permitting, and construction of the complex.
“The southcentral and southeastern regions of Kentucky have industries and institutions that rely on diesel fuels, and because Kentucky is a leader in the nation for soybean production, the region also has the raw materials and technology to make biodiesel at a scale that reflects the local and regional demand,” said refinery owner Demetrios Haseotes. “We have consulted with local, progressive soybean producers, taken their input and they are very encouraged about the project. We look forward to investing in the future of energy production that actually creates beneficial biproducts we can in turn sell, like high-protein fiber meal for poultry and livestock. Our new operation will provide energy for animal and machine, the perfect complement to our regional economy.”
The conversion of the Somerset facility is already underway, according to CRC, which has initiated the permitting process with the Kentucky Division of Environmental Protection. The biodiesel plant has been procured and engineering services are currently being performed to develop the plans needed for installation. CRC expects the biodiesel plant and fuel terminal to be ready for start-up and operation in the fourth quarter of this year. The soybean processing equipment is well into the design phase with equipment procurement and installation to follow. CRC anticipates the soybean processing facility to start operation in early 2022, with soybean receiving to begin in January.