Co-located supercritical biodiesel project changes hands

The Patriot Fuels Biodiesel project in Illinois, along with its much larger, co-located ethanol plant host, were bought by Cenex Harvest States
By Ron Kotrba | June 03, 2015

Last Friday, when the big RFS news came out, I put out a lot of calls to biodiesel producers and process technology companies to gauge their take on the RVO numbers. While the RVO proposal does indeed put biodiesel and advanced biofuels on a modest growth path through 2017, the figures are expectedly less than what the National Biodiesel Board has been pushing for.

To reiterate, EPA’s proposed volumes for biomass-based diesel are 1.63 billion gallons for 2014, 1.7 billion for 2015, 1.8 billion for 2016 and 1.9 billion for 2017. The proposed advanced volumes are 2.68 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons for 2014, 2.9 billion gallons for 2015 and 3.4 billion for 2016.

During the Biodiesel Magazine webinar I moderated the day before the EPA numbers came out, Joe Jobe discussed the RVO numbers NBB advocated for. The biomass-based diesel volumes were 1.7 billion gallons for 2014, 2.1 billion for 2015, 2.4 billion for 2016 and 2.7 billion for 2017. Total advanced volumes the organization pushed for were 2.86 billion for 2014, 3.75 billion for 2015, and 4.75 billion for 2016. The organization will certainly continue advocating for higher biomass-based diesel and total advanced volumes during the comment period.

As I was making calls last Friday, I spoke with Raj Mosali, president of process technology firm Jatrodiesel Inc. In our conversation, he mentioned the 5 MMgy Patriot Fuels Biodiesel LLC project in Annawan, Illinois, co-located with Patriot Renewable Fuels’ 120 MMgy ethanol refinery. This is one of just a few biodiesel plants being built on-site of an ethanol plant to utilize the distillers corn oil from ethanol manufacturing. Not only is it unique in that regard, but the project is even more unique in that it is using Jatrodiesel’s supercritical process, which eliminates the need for catalyst.

Mosali told me last week that Cenex Harvest States was buying Patriot Renewable Fuels, along with the co-located biodiesel project.

Yesterday Ascendant Partners confirmed this, as it announced the company served as the exclusive M&A advisor to Patriot Renewable Fuels in the sale of the company to CHS.

CHS acquired the company in a reverse merger transaction valued at $196 million.

The purchase represents CHS's second ethanol plant acquisition following its acquisition of the former Illinois River Energy located in Rochelle, Illinois, June 2014.

“We have enjoyed a strong business relationship with CHS as they have been our ethanol and distillers grains marketer,” said Gene Griffith, chairman, CEO and president of Patriot Renewable Fuels. “We are proud of what Patriot has accomplished as an independent plant operator and pleased to know the company will be in good hands with CHS going forward.”

Mosali tells me that the 5 MMgy Patriot Fuels Biodiesel project is moving forward and still plans to begin operations this year.