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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Tidewater Renewables begins commercial production of renewable diesel


Photo: Tidewater Renewables Ltd.

Tidewater Renewables Ltd. announced Nov. 9 that the renewable diesel complex at its Prince George Refinery in British Columbia, Canada, has begun commercial operation.


The unit, scaled at approximately 45 million gallons per year (mgy), produced its first renewable diesel volumes Oct. 22, according to Tidewater Renewables.


The complex progressed to commercial operations Nov. 7.


The facility is currently producing approximately 1,500 barrels per day (bbl/d) — a rate of about 22 mgy if annualized—of on-spec cold-weather diesel.


Tidewater Renewables said it is actively working on safely increasing production rates toward the facility’s 3,000 bbl/d design capacity.

Gross project costs are expected to increase by CAD$10.2 million (USD$7.4 million), due to increased man hours resulting from the delay in commercial operations and the addition of incremental insulation and heat tracing.


Tidewater added, however, that the project’s economics remain attractive, with payback expected within two to three years.


The unit start-up makes Tidewater Renewables the first standalone producer of renewable diesel in Canada, the company noted.


“The launching of the [renewable diesel] complex’s commercial operations signifies a step change in the evolution of Tidewater Renewables’ business model,” said Rob Colcleugh, chairman and CEO.


Colcleugh was just appointed CEO Nov. 8 after serving as interim CEO for a year. During his tenure as interim CEO, he successfully led the commissioning of the renewable diesel unit and Tidewater Midstream’s strategic asset review.


“[The unit’s commercial operations] also mark the arrival of Canada as one of the few countries in the world that produce renewable diesel,” Colcleugh added. “The completion of this project was not without challenges, but with unwavering support from the British Columbia government, the city of Prince George, our capital providers, and our team’s relentless dedication, we got it done. With the completion of the complex, Tidewater Renewables is dedicated to strengthening its financial position, reducing its debt, and progressing our strong pipeline of renewables projects.”


The company said it is now committed to streamlining the renewable diesel complex’s operations, strengthening its financial position, repaying debt and progressing the development of its renewable natural gas facility.


In July, Tidewater Renewables’ coprocessing projects were approved for credit generation under the Canadian Clean Fuel Regulations.


Through its coprocessing projects and the renewable diesel complex, the corporation said it expects to maintain position as one of Canada’s largest generators of emissions credits.


In the third quarter of 2023, Tidewater Renewables generated adjusted EBITDA of CAD$14.5 million (USD$10.5 million) and a net loss attributable to shareholders of CAD$9.4 million (USD$6.8 million), inclusive of CAD$12.6 million (USD$9.1 million) of unrealized losses on derivative contracts.

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