Oil refinery retrofit secures $365 million in capital partnership

By Ron Kotrba | June 04, 2020

Orion Energy Partners LP, GCM Grosvenor and Voya Investment Management announced a capital partnership worth $365 million June 3 with Bakersfield Renewable Fuels, a “special purpose vehicle” wholly owned by Global Clean Energy Holdings Inc.

Bakersfield Renewable Fuels was created to acquire and retrofit an existing petroleum refinery in Bakersfield, California, to produce renewable diesel. The project will use a variety of feedstocks such as waste fats, oils and greases, as well as Global Clean Energy Holdings’ proprietary camelina oil, to produce renewable diesel, liquid propane and naphtha. According to Orion Energy, the fuel will be sold under a long-term offtake agreement with a multinational oil major.

Primary work on the project will be performed by the Bakersfield-based EPC contractor ARB Inc., a subsidiary of Primoris Services Corp., which will be supported by a number of other firms.

“Despite challenging market conditions, with the support and creativity of our financing partners we will have the necessary resources to make the project a success and deliver meaningful economic and environmental benefits to the region,” said Richard Palmer, CEO of Global Clean Energy Holdings.

Gerrit Nicholas, founder and managing partner at Orion Energy, said, “This investment in a truly unique, independent, renewable refinery is a terrific example of Orion Energy’s value proposition in providing creative and deeply structured financing solutions for environmentally innovative energy infrastructure.”

Global Clean Energy Holdings anticipates renewable diesel production to begin at the site in early 2022. The company has not made the renewable diesel production capacity of the refinery conversion public. When Biodiesel Magazine inquired about capacity, a media representative for the company said they were unable to provide it. 

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