REG breaks ground on renewable diesel expansion project in Geismar, Louisiana
Renewable Energy Group Inc. hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 13 to celebrate the start of construction on the company’s improvement and expansion project at REG Geismar. The project will take total site production capacity from 90 million gallons per year (mgy) to 340 mgy, and bring more than 60 permanent jobs and up to 500 construction jobs to the area.
REG Geismar was the first renewable diesel production facility in the U.S. and was acquired by REG in 2014. Since that time, REG has been investing in the facility to improve safety, logistics, and operational capabilities. REG first announced plans for expansion of REG Geismar in 2020, and announced earlier this year that the project was being combined with an original plant-improvement project, with both being advanced to construction phase. This groundbreaking marks the formal start of construction on the project.
“This improvement and expansion project is a strategically advantaged growth project, and will position REG to continue our leadership in the renewable fuels industry,” said CJ Warner, president and CEO of REG. “The push from investors and regulatory leaders for lower-carbon solutions is being met with greater pull from sustainability-minded consumers who want to reduce their carbon profiles now. REG is helping lead the transition to cleaner, greener energy, and this project is an exceptional example of that.”
The project will involve upgrades to the existing site, as well as an expansion that will be adjacent to the current site. Improvements will include enhanced marine logistics that will enable global trading of feedstocks and fuel. The company announced that the estimated project cost is $950 million and is expected to be mechanically complete by 2023, with full operability in 2024. Upon completion, the fuel produced at REG Geismar will annually reduce harmful CO2 emissions by up to 2.8 million metric tons, or the equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from 7.1 billion miles driven by an average passenger vehicle. REG received an incentive package from the state of Louisiana that contains comprehensive workforce support and tax incentives.
“It’s an honor to have such a forward-thinking business like Renewable Energy Group right here in the state of Louisiana,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “REG has been an exceptional partner for this community and our state, and we were proud to be able to provide an incentive package for this improvement and expansion. This team is helping our world achieve lower-carbon goals, all while providing a great benefit to our local economy.”
The groundbreaking event included state and local lawmakers, as well as project partners and community members.