• Ron Kotrba

New York-based firm plans to build 2 biocrude plants in Washington state


CastleRock chose Shelton, Washington, due to its proximity to major industrial timber owners.

CastleRock Green Energy, a renewable energy and infrastructure fund based in New York City, announced Nov. 7 its intention to build two 20-million-gallon-per-year biofuel production facilities near Shelton, Washington.



CastleRock intends to deploy RTP® technology from Ensyn Corp. to produce biocrude from woody biomass.



The fuel, according to CastleRock, can fully replace traditional heating oil or can be coprocessed with petroleum to produce traditional fuels such as aviation fuel, diesel or gasoline.



The company noted that Ensyn’s RTP® process is currently used at eight operating facilities in the U.S. and Canada, converting woody biomass into fuel and chemicals.



“Shelton, Washington, was strategically selected due to its proximity to high concentrations of major industrial timber owners, ensuring a long-term feedstock supply and the ability to meet precise feedstock specifications in sufficient quantities to generate up to 40 million gallon per year of low-carbon fuels,” CastleRock stated. “In a unique partnership, up to 20 million gallons per year would be available to provide low-carbon heating oil to Seattle district-energy customers. This partnership would fully displace the traditional fossil fuels currently being used, eliminating approximately 82,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 17,775 cars off the road every year.”


The company further stated that the $400 million local investment in new biofuel production facilities is made possible in part because of the Inflation Reduction Act, passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden in August. IRA includes tax credits that incentivize companies to invest in domestic production of low-carbon and renewable fuels.



“CastleRock Green Energy is bringing 380 good-paying jobs to Mason County and that will mean lower energy bills for families from Seattle to Spokane,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington. “Washington state is already a leader in clean energy—but because of the Inflation Reduction Act and companies like CastleRock Green Energy, we will be on the cutting edge of building a stronger, cleaner economy for everyone.”



John Murphy, executive director of biofuels at CastleRock Green Energy, added, “We are extremely excited to bring clean, renewable fuel to the state of Washington, and to contribute to continued economic development on an environmentally friendly basis. ... We have tremendous confidence in the commercially proven Ensyn technology, which we have spent considerable time evaluating.”

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