• Ron Kotrba

Marathon’s North Dakota renewable diesel plant to be in full production by late March


Photo: Marathon Petroleum Corp.

In its Q4 earnings report, Marathon Petroleum Corp. said the company expects its retrofitted petroleum refinery in Dickinson, North Dakota, to be producing renewable diesel at full capacity by the end of March. Full capacity for the site is 12,000 barrels a day, or 184 MMgy. Marathon first announced the facility’s commissioning in early November. In 2017, under the ownership of Tesoro, the existing oil refinery began a Phase 1 conversion to coprocess renewable diesel with petroleum diesel. In fall 2018, Marathon Petroleum acquired the refinery and started work on Phase 2, full conversion to manufacture pure renewable diesel, which it completed last year. Marathon is using soybean oil and distillers corn oil as feedstock. The hydrotreated biofuel is bound for California where the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard is a big draw.


Michael J. Hennigan, president and CEO, added that Marathon is also “advancing discussions with feedstock suppliers and potential commercial partners for the Martinez (California) renewables project.” In October, Marathon announced it would seek permitting to convert its existing oil refinery in Martinez, California, to produce nearly 736 MMgy of renewable diesel by 2023—four times the capacity of its Dickinson, North Dakota, biorefinery. In November, Hennigan said Marathon filed for permits and began detailed engineering activities. In early February, Hennigan said the Martinez biorefinery would begin producing renewable diesel by the second half of 2022 with the potential to reach full capacity by the end of 2023.

Marathon reported Q4 income of $192 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, which includes net pretax benefits of $851 million. Its adjusted net loss for Q4 was $608 million, or a loss of 94 cents per diluted share, compared to an adjusted net income of $1 billion in Q4 2019.

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