REG Acquires Texas Biorefinery

Renewable Energy Group (REG) has announced the acquisition of a biorefinery in Texas to expand its biodiesel production output.

With the acquisition of a 15 million gallon per year biorefinery located in New Boston, Texas, REG’s nameplate biodiesel production capacity is expected to increase to more than 225 million gallons annually. REG paid $300,000 in cash and issued 900,000 shares of its common stock to North Texas Bio Energy for the multi-feedstock biorefinery located about 22 miles west of Texarkana. It is REG’s second Texas biodiesel production facility, following its 2008 acquisition of its Houston-area plant.

“Bringing New Boston into the REG family grows our solid, proven business model of using lower cost feedstock and providing cleaner energy solutions for American consumers,” said REG President and CEO, Daniel J. Oh. “Our customers across the southern U.S. demand more REG-9000® biodiesel, and this is a long-term plan to respond to our customers’ needs. We remain focused on strategic growth by increasing the availability of biodiesel in high distillate demand regions throughout North America,” Oh added.

The New Boston facility began production in June 2008 and has been idled for approximately four years. Brad Albin, REG Vice President of Manufacturing, said the plant will undergo some construction and minor upgrades prior to the facility’s start-up, which is expected in the first quarter of 2013. REG plans to utilize animal fats and other high free fatty acid feedstocks to produce biodiesel at the refinery. The company has initiated RFS2 registration through the EPA.

“The REG technology team will soon be on-site in New Boston to re-start the biodiesel process with a plan to have high quality, REG-9000® biodiesel available in the market upon the completion of the EPA registration process,” said Albin. The company expects to hire nearly 20 full-time, green-collar employees at the REG New Boston site.

REG Breaks Ground on Plant Expansion

The country’s largest biodiesel producer, Renewable Energy Group (REG), has broken ground on the expansion to its biodiesel plant in Glenville, Minnesota. A groundbreaking ceremony was held and many biofuel supporters from across the state and the local community were on hand for the event. The upgrade is estimated to cost $20 million.

“No matter who we’ve talked to, the state or local level, they’re just absolutely thrilled,” Brad Albin, Vice President of Manufacturing at REG was quoted in an article published by KAAL TV. “The plant had been shut down for about a year and we brought it back up, last year. It’s a biodiesel plant that turns feedstock, or things like natural oils and greases, into renewable fuel.”

One of the things the plant expansion and upgrade will do is allow more difficult feedstocks to be processed into high quality biodiesel. The plant will also, said Albin, create additional jobs in the local community.

Area Representative Rich Murray was on hand for the groundbreaking. “It’s just an exciting day,”  he said. “We’ve got 20 some good paying jobs here that people are able to support their families with and now a $20 million commitment to construction here. It’s going to create construction jobs and just every bit of this is good news.”

The upgrade is expected to be complete by June of 2013 and the plant will then have the capacity to produce 30 million gallons of biodiesel each year.

REG Opens Biodiesel Terminal in Long Beach

A new biodiesel terminal is off and running in Long Beach, California compliments of the Renewable Energy Group (REG). The first truckload of biodiesel was picked up by Whole Energy, a fuel distributor and retailer operating in Washington, Oregon and California.

“Whole Energy is committed to biodiesel, helping Californians meet their carbon reduction goals, and offering supply for Oregon and Washington blending requirements,” said Gary Haer, VP Sales and Marketing at Renewable Energy Group. “REG’s terminal agreement with Maxum Petroleum expands the opportunity for West Coast distributors like Whole Energy to blend biodiesel for public and private diesel fleets.”

Atul Deshmane, CEO and President of Whole Energy said that biodiesel has demonstrated both great performance and low carbon characteristics and is an important part of meeting California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. REG recently registered its REG-9000 biodiesel produced at its biodiesel facility in Seneca, Illinois with a carbon intensity as low as 4.0 gCO2e/MJ.

“We are excited about the opportunity to offer biodiesel from the nation’s largest biodiesel producer and marketer in California,” added Deshmane. “Whole Energy is committed to a multi-region approach for offering biodiesel blends for fleets and consumers who are looking to go green, enhance performance and protect the earth with a sustainable fuel.”

REG to Offer Biodiesel at California Terminal

Renewable Energy Group will be offering wholesale biodiesel under a new agreement with Maxum Petroleum at its Rancho Dominguez (California) terminal location outside of Long Beach.

Under the supply agreement, the terminal is expected to offer REG-9000® biodiesel to petroleum jobbers or large fleets beginning mid-August. Maxum Petroleum is one of the largest independent energy logistics companies in North America and will operate the terminal. Renewable Energy Group (REG) also recently announced biodiesel availability at a terminal near Lebanon, Ohio and at its own terminal in Clovis, New Mexico.

“This new terminal will help consumers in the Los Angeles region become more energy independent, meet carbon reduction goals and improve air quality with America’s Advanced Biofuel, biodiesel,” said REG’s Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Gary Haer. “Biodiesel is a sustainable, drop-in fuel for diesel applications and a lower carbon fuel for a state which consumed more than 3.5 billion gallons of distillate fuel in 2010, according to the EIA. Renewable Energy Group is proud to offer high quality biodiesel to help enhance energy security and lower greenhouse gas emissions across southern California.”

Haer noted the new relationship with Maxum Petroleum would benefit new California customers. “We have confidence in the team at Maxum to quickly and efficiently process orders and load trucks to make biodiesel blending an easy step for any diesel distributor in the area,” he added.

GROWMARK Picks Up 1st Truckload of Biodiesel at Ohio Terminal

GROWMARK’s network fuel supplier Trupointe Cooperative Inc. picked up the first truckload of biodiesel at the new New Lebanon Ohio Terminal owned by the Renewable Energy Group (REG). The facility is located outside of Cincinnati. The facility is producing REG-9000 branded biodiesel produced from natural oils, fats and greases and meets or exceeds ASTM quality specifications for biodiesel.

“GROWMARK and Trupointe Cooperative Inc. have been advocates for biodiesel utilization for many years,” said Gary Haer, VP of Sales and Marketing at. We look forward to growing our relationship with GROWMARK and its other cooperatives in the future. This Ohio terminal offers great opportunity for blenders like GROWMARK and Trupointe to expand their biodiesel offerings in preparation for harvest or to meet summer over-the-road diesel demand.”

Brigette Harlan, Renewable Fuels Product Manager for GROWMARK said they are pleased to take the first truckload of biodiesel from the new facility, and REG has been a valuable partner for many years. “REG is dedicated to quality and to the best possible customer experience which is very important to our customers like Trupointe Cooperative who are receiving this truckload. We appreciate and share that commitment as we all grow and help the marketplace understand the benefits of using biodiesel.”

Iowa Leads the Way in Renewable Fuel Growth

According to a new study by Cardo ENTRIX, the “renewable fuels industry has grown spectacularly over the past decade and Iowa has been a major participant and beneficiary.” This is no surprise as Iowa leads the way in biodiesel and ethanol production. To learn about some of the key highlights of the study, I spoke with Brad Albin, VP of Manufacturing for REG Services, LLC and the President of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) who sponsored the study.

The study was released to help celebrate IRFA’s 10th Anniversary and also coincided with the declaration that June 15 is Iowa Ethanol Day.

A few key highlights:

  • During the past 12 years in Iowa, ethanol production has increased 741% and biodiesel production has increased 1,600%.
  • The portion of Iowa’s agricultural economic output attributable to the renewable fuels industry increased from 4.6% in 2002 to more than 37% in 2011.
  • By 2011, ethanol and biodiesel production accounted for nearly 7% of manufacturing sector output.
  • The total number of jobs in the entire Iowa economy supported by the renewable fuels industry has grown from around 3,500 in 2002 to 79,000 in 2011 an increase of more than 2,000%.

The first conclusion many will jump to is the industry is thriving due to subsidies. This is not the case. Today, neither biodiesel nor ethanol receive any subsidies. Albin explained, “The incentives that the fairly young biodiesel industry have received pale in comparison to what oil companies continue to receive after they have been in business for over 100 years and are making record profits.”

“The biodiesel industry has proven it has the capacity to produce over 1.5 billion gallons per year of renewable fuels from feedstocks grown and produced in America, while reducing hazardous tailpipe emissions, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, creating and needed good paying jobs and returning more value to the economy than any incentive the industry has ever received.”

Albin said he hoped but never anticipated how quickly the industry would grow, and he is looking forward to seeing the industry grow even more over the next decade.

You can learn more about the key highlights of the study by listening to my interview the Brad Albin here: Brad Albin Talks Iowa Economics

REG Execs Receive Entrepreneur of Year Award

Renewable Energy Group’s (REG) Chairman, Jeff Stroburg and President & CEO Daniel J. Oh, have been awarded the Entrepreneur of The Year Award in the Central Midwest by Earnst & Young. The winners were selected by an independent judging panel comprised of past award winners.

The awards were given during a gala on June 5, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas and after receiving the honor Oh and Stroburg recognized REG’s employees for driving positive organizational results and attributed the company’s excellent status to their team. Stroburg and Oh also recognized and thanked the company’s shareholders during the ceremony.

“Ernst & Young has honored outstanding entrepreneurs like this year’s winners for the past 26 years,” said Randolph Buseman, Ernst & Young LLP Entrepreneur Of The Year Program Director for Central Midwest. “These business leaders have accomplished so much and contributed a tremendous amount to the community.”

REG is the largest biodiesel producer in the United States with six biorefineries producing more than 210 million gallons of biodiesel per year.

REG to Open Biodiesel Terminal in New Mexico

New Mexico is set for biodiesel with the soon to open B100 biodiesel terminal in July. Once online, this will be the state’s largest biodiesel terminal, which is owned and operated by the Renewable Energy Group (REG), the country’s largest biodiesel producer. Product will be available from the Clovis, New Mexico facility in July.

“Renewable Energy Group believes this new terminal infrastructure demonstrates our commitment to offering our customers better access to biodiesel blending locations throughout the Southwest and West,” said REG President and CEO, Daniel J. Oh. “We intend to complete construction of REG Clovis as a biodiesel production site, the timing of which depends on a variety of factors. Using the location as a terminal is an important initial step in the process to meet local market demand.”

REG Clovis is set to produce 15 million gallons per year and is nearly 40 percent complete. The company is converting the site’s liquid storage and truck load-out into a wholesale terminal for REG-9000® branded biodiesel sales via truck and rail.

REG Financials Strong

REG, America’s largest biodiesel producer, came out strong in its first quarter financials. Earlier this year, REG had a very successful public offering. For the quarter ending March 31, 2012 revenues were $188.2 million, an increase of 80 percent compared to revenues of $104.4 million for the same period in 2011. When adjusting for EBITDA, revenues were $12.7 million, an increase of 140 percent compared to $5.3 million for the same period in 2011.

REG’s balance sheet also remains strong with cash of $75.2 million at the close of the quarter, compared to $33.6 million at December 31, 2011.

“During our first quarter as a publicly traded company, Renewable Energy Group again demonstrated why we are a leader in the advanced biofuel industry,” said Daniel J. Oh, President and Chief Executive Officer of REG. “We grew our biodiesel volumes and revenue substantially, raised capital with a successful IPO, and made solid progress toward upgrades and technology advancements at our biorefineries. With strong demand due to RFS2, and a fleet of biorefineries able to flexibly arbitrage lower cost feedstocks, we believe we are well-positioned to profitably grow our business in 2012 and beyond.”

REG remains poised to help the country continue to ramp up biodiesel production to meet the goals set forth by the Renewable Standard Fuels.

REG Rings the Bell to Celebrate IPO

The Renewable Energy Group (REG) celebrated its recent initial public offering (IPO) at the NASDAQ, located in New York City, in a closing bell ceremony to recognize shareholders, the board of directors, employees and client service providers. The company officially became public on January 18, 2012 and on hand for the ringing of the bell yesterday was Chairman of the Board, Jeff Stroburg; President and CEO, Daniel J. Oh; and members of the Renewable Energy Group team.

“The biodiesel we produce is an important alternative as crude oil prices remain high and our nation works to meet energy security and cleaner air goals with lower carbon fuels,” Renewable Energy Group President & CEO in remarks today.  “We are proud to play a role in our nation’s energy complex as an industry-leading biorefining company offering rapid growth opportunities.”

Biodiesel Industry Leader to Present at Global Conference

The chairman of the National Biodiesel Board will be presenting an update on the U.S. industry during a global biofuels conference next week.

Renewable Energy Group Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Gary Haer will present during the “Global Biodiesel Production and Trading” panel at the World Biofuels Markets Congress & Exhibition on Wednesday, March 14 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

“The U.S. biodiesel industry experienced phenomenal growth in 2011 with the sound, stable federal policy in place,” explained Haer. “As the biodiesel industry prepares to grow our role as North America’s commercialized, domestically-produced Advanced Biofuel, it is critical to work with customers, vendors and potential partners on an international scale to expand sustainable biodiesel production and enhance trading and business opportunities.”

The conference is organized by Greenpower Conferences.

REG Launches New Advocacy Website

Renewable Energy Group® (REG) has a new policy advocacy website designed to centralize the company’s constituents and rally support for biodiesel policy issues.

The new site design allows supporters to sign up for informational updates and alerts and then offers an-easy-to-use platform to contact state or federal elected officials. Go online for registration and more information.

“We are urging the friends of REG—who may be vendors, customers, suppliers, partners, shareholders or family members—to sign up to receive federal and state legislative updates and calls to action,” said Scott Hedderich, REG’s Director of Corporate Affairs. “Americans have a constitutional right to make their voices heard and this site helps them utilize that right.”

REG, an active member of the National Biodiesel Board, plans to utilize the website, in part, to extend the industry’s federal policy outreach programs. With biorefineries in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Texas and additional facilities to be completed in Louisiana, New Mexico and Kansas, a nationwide logistics footprint is important to identify and build localized support.

“The biodiesel industry is facing important issues like the expansion RFS2 and the reinstatement of the federal blenders’ tax incentive in order to grow green collar job creation, create a healthy environment and expand energy security,” added Hedderich. “We have a unique opportunity to reach out to our base of business contacts and broaden the reach for biodiesel industry support.”

Iowa RFA President Pleased with Summit

The 6th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit this week was another great one, according to Iowa Renewable Fuels Association president Brad Albin, who is VP of manufacturing for Renewable Energy Group (REG).

There were over 500 people at the conference on Tuesday in Des Moines and Albin says that’s a far cry from when he first started in the biodiesel industry. “I’ve personally been involved in biodiesel since 1996, helped build the first multi-feedstock biodiesel plant,” he said. “There was probably ten of us in a room at one time. And since then, we’ve seen some hard times but this year (2011) has been a strong year for us and now we need to just keep the strong going forward.”

Listen to my interview with IRFA president Brad Albin of REG here: Brad Albin interview

Photos from 2012 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit

REG Announces Pricing of IPO

REG is ready to go public.

Renewable Energy Group has announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 7,200,000 shares of common stock at a price to the public of $10.00 per share.

The shares are expected to begin trading on The Nasdaq Global Market on January 19, 2012 under the symbol “REGI.” Of the shares of common stock in the offering, Renewable Energy Group is offering 6,857,140 shares and selling stockholders are offering 342,860 shares. In addition, Renewable Energy Group has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,080,000 additional shares of common stock to cover over-allotments, if any.

Additional details available from the REG website.

Illinois Legislature Extends State Biodiesel Program

The Illinois state legislature has approved an extension of the state’s biodiesel blending program. The bill extends the sunset date for the biodiesel state sales tax incentives to Dec. 31, 2018. Any biodiesel blend of more than 10 percent continues to be eligible for fuel tax exemption.

Since the inception of the B11 blending credits in 2004, more biodiesel has been blended in Illinois annually than any other state, says the Renewable Energy Group.

Illinois has more than 1,500 “green collar” jobs in the state, according to data from a recent Illinois biodiesel economic impact study. The biodiesel industry generated $1.5 billion of household income and was responsible for more than $2.6 billion of Illinois gross domestic product between 2004 and 2010.

“REG applauds the Illinois legislature for promoting green collar jobs, Illinois agriculture, rural economic development and sound environmental policy,” said Daniel J. Oh, president of REG.

REG markets biodiesel from its REG Danville (45 mmgy capacity) and REG Seneca (60 mmg capacity) facilities as well as several Chicago-area terminal locations.