• Ron Kotrba

Wood-to-diesel project being developed near Columbia, Louisiana


A new biobased diesel project is being developed near Columbia, Louisiana, on a 171-acre site at the Port of Columbia. Louisiana Green Fuels, a subsidiary of Strategic Biofuels LLC, plans to establish a 32 million gallon per year plant to gasify wood waste and turn into synthetic diesel fuel via Fischer-Tropsch technology.


The company is completing feasibility and financing phases and anticipates a final investment decision by late 2022. The price tag for the project could reach $700 million.


“Louisiana Green Fuels is an example of how our state can merge traditional and emerging forms of energy in exciting ways to address climate change,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “The company has engaged Justiss Oil of Jena to drill a sequestration test well that will confirm the integrity of carbon storage a mile below the earth’s surface. This project would boost our state’s forestry sector by harvesting timber byproducts in a sustainable fashion, and the refinery’s renewable diesel output would be accomplished in a carbon-negative fashion. That means this refinery would achieve better than net-zero emissions—it would actually remove more carbon from the environment than it produces.”


Strategic Biofuels has raised 85 percent of its early-stage financing from investors in North Louisiana. In addition to the Columbia biorefinery, the company hopes to develop additional biorefineries in the state that would target production of sustainable aviation fuel.


“Caldwell Parish is the ideal location for our Louisiana Green Fuels plant,” said Paul Schubert, CEO of Strategic Biofuels. “It combines the required forestry waste feedstock for fuel production and the right geology for carbon sequestration within the State of Louisiana’s visionary legislative framework, which has been further strengthened by the Climate Initiative established by Gov. Edwards. We are especially thankful for his signature on the recent $200 million tax-free bond allocation, which substantially advances the financing for this project.”


Louisiana Economic Development began formal discussions with Strategic Biofuels about the potential Louisiana Green Fuels project in July 2020. With a final investment decision, the state of Louisiana would negotiate a competitive incentive package to secure the project.


Following the final investment decision by Strategic Biofuels, construction of the initial Louisiana Green Fuels refinery in Caldwell Parish would begin at the Port of Columbia and lead to initial plant operations in early to mid-2025.

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