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Texas-based RBF supplies biodiesel to marine vessel pushing feedstock barges


Fueled with 20 percent biodiesel produced by RBF Renewable Biofuels in Port Neches, Texas, the MV Captain Raphael pushes feedstock barges to the New Orleans area to pick up soybean oil, which will be processed into high-quality biodiesel upon return to RBF's plant.

RBF Renewable Biofuels, owner of the largest biodiesel production facility in North America, is supplying diesel-powered push boats with biodiesel produced at its Port Neches, Texas, plant.

The MV Captain Raphael, owned by Central Boat Rentals Inc., was loaded with 20 percent biodiesel (B20) fuel on Nov. 22 and is returning from the New Orleans area with two term-chartered 30,000-barrel feedstock barges of U.S. grown and crushed soybean oil to RBF’s Texas facility, where it will be processed into clean-burning biodiesel.

“We are excited to expand into this new market for biodiesel on the Gulf Coast,” said Mike Reed, CEO of RBF. “Biodiesel needs these new markets and expanded support from our customers, farmers and the administration to overcome unintended policies that have incented oil refiners to convert much-needed refining capacity to renewable diesel.”

Biodiesel producers have invested in critical production facilities and worked hard to support U.S. EPA to make the nation’s premier renewable fuel program, the Renewable Fuel Standard, a success in the face of new renewable diesel production. Rather than increasing the overall renewable fuel volumes, much of the new renewable diesel volume entering the market is simply displacing existing biodiesel gallons instead of diesel gallons.

“Unintended policy consequences have incentivized refiners to convert their units to make renewable diesel instead of petroleum diesel at a time when we need more fuel, not less,” Reed explained. “Conventional refining capacity is being taken offline and being replaced with renewable diesel refining capacity, which in turn is displacing biodiesel production capacity. This results in a significant reduction in conventional fuel, no net increase in renewable fuel and contributes to low diesel inventories and higher prices. It is a policy-driven distortion that is making fuel prices higher while not accomplishing the goal of increased carbon reduction.”

Marine fuel is the second new market into which RBF has recently directly sold its biodiesel, with the first being to a Class 1 railroad operator. “We look forward to expanding our offering of premium-quality, U.S.-made biodiesel to our customers, and their transportation and energy suppliers, to lower industry Scope 2 and 3 greenhouse-gas emissions,” Reed added.

“We love the fact that we are using an agricultural-derived fuel to ship an agricultural product to be made into more low-carbon fuel,” said Michael Patterson, president of Central Boat Rentals. “We are extremely excited to partner with RBF to showcase B20 as a marine fuel while lowering our carbon footprint as a marine operator. RBF’s biodiesel is a very important high-quality, low-carbon, sustainable, U.S.-made product that creates substantial value for those involved in its supply chain.”

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