Diamond Green Diesel plant secures financing

By Erin Voegele | June 02, 2011

Diamond Green Diesel LLC, a joint venture of Darling International Inc. and Valero Energy Corp., has secured financing for the construction of its renewable diesel plant in Norco, La. According to information released by Darling, the financing will be provided internally by Valero.

The proposed 137 MMgy facility will be located adjacent to an existing Valero oil refinery, said Bill Day, Valero’s executive director of media relations. Darling will provide the joint venture project with feedstock from its rendering process, while Valero will oversee construction of the plant, Day added. Construction on the facility is expected to commence during the second half of 2011 and be complete by the beginning of 2013.

According to Day, the joint venture originally sought a loan guarantee from the U.S. DOE to support the project. “That [process] was so burdensome and so slow and it ended up being so costly that the joint venture—Darling and Valero—decided to withdraw the application for the DOE loan guarantee,” he said. Instead, Valero will provide funding for the project. “It’s just easier and quicker that way,” Day said. “No government bureaucracy, none of the hurdles, none of the really burdensome stuff attached to the loan guarantee.”

“We are pleased to have reached [an] agreement with Valero to fund this critical project,” said Darling chairman and CEO Randall Stuewe. “Valero’s support for this project is critical, and this is another means of displaying their confidence in both the technology and viability of the project. Valero’s financing commitment means that we will no longer require a funding guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Nevertheless, we would like to thank the Department of Energy for their support for this project, which is expected to generate numerous jobs in the state of Louisiana.”

Day noted that Valero will continue to look for opportunities to invest in renewable fuels. “It’s something that we believe is going to be an important part of transportation fuels in this country in the future,” he said, “and Valero plans to be a transportation fuels company—whether that is gasoline, diesel, ethanol, cellulosic, or whatever, that is the business that we plant to be in.”


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