RIN Integrity Network on track to thaw frozen RIN market

By NBB | May 01, 2012

Restoring confidence in the renewable identification number (RIN) system under the renewable fuel standard is on the fast track, thanks to the work of the National Biodiesel Board’s RIN Integrity Task Force. Co-chair David Blatnik of Marathon Petroleum, along with staff from RIN integrity service provider Genscape, gave a presentation to NBB members in April on the group’s progress in establishing the new RIN Integrity Network.

“NBB has shown real leadership in bringing this diverse group of stakeholders together to find a solution that will work for the majority of participants in the RFS,” Blatnik said. “Marathon is an obligated party, so I jumped at the opportunity to work with NBB to address the issue of RIN integrity. The sooner we are back to business, the better off we will all be.”  

The efforts of the task force focuses on two phases. Phase one is a short-term solution that is now in place, creating an audit protocol that producers can use to give some assurance to obligated parties that their biodiesel production is legitimate. 

The launch of phase two of the program, a long-term solution to provide transparency and promote the integrity of producers, is also underway. The program uses Genscape’s unique technology on an ongoing basis without a physical audit. Rather, data collection and ongoing proprietary monitoring will be used together to demonstrate the integrity of a facility’s RINs. Real-time updates of a plant’s status would then appear on a live “dashboard” website that obligated parties can subscribe to for a fee.

“The National Biodiesel Board is endorsing this program because our task force has had significant input into it, and we believe it has the best chance of being a good solution for the most people,” said Joe Jobe, CEO of the NBB. “The Genscape program is completely voluntary. If it meets your business needs, we encourage you to do it. If you have other solutions that you believe will work better, you should pursue them. The Genscape program doesn’t preclude any other program that may be out there now or may emerge in the future.”

Task force members reiterated that companies are free to pursue other solutions. NBB is endorsing and making this program available to its members, at a discounted price, because it has been vetted through the task force that includes a broad cross-section of the RFS2 stakeholders. It is also believed that it will be the most cost-effective way for the majority of members, especially small- and medium-sized producers, to effectively unlock their RINs, returning them to the marketplace.

Pricing structure for the program is flexible, with choices to meet the needs of producers. There is an annual fee upfront, then an additional per-RIN fee. Variable pricing is based on RINs sold and is invoiced based on monthly RIN sales. 

“I am proud of the work we have done with Genscape to get the pricing structure down to where it is,” Jobe said. “We have heard very clearly from our small- and medium-sized members that they are concerned about cost, so that is something we have focused on. This spreads the cost burden, not just on the producers but throughout the system in a fair and affordable way.”

The pricing structure reflects a 20 percent discount given to NBB members. The pricing options include:

1)    An annual per-facility fee of $25,000 with an additional $0.001 per RIN sold.

2)    An annual per-facility fee of $12,500 with an additional $0.003 per RIN sold.

3)    An annual per-facility fee of $1,000 with an additional $0.010 per RIN sold.

4)    Obligated parties subscribe to the Genscape dashboard for an annual fee of $50,000.

5)    Blenders, marketers, and traders will also be able to subscribe. 

All three producer pricing options are capped at a $40,000 per year total and all include the full phase one and phase two programs.

“This shows a generous investment by Genscape, because the company is taking the majority of the risk that the program will be effective in helping biodiesel producers market their RINs,” Blatnik said.
Genscape will be investing the cost of the $5,000 audit, the cost of proprietary software and monitoring technology, as well as auditors and analysts on an ongoing basis. 

“Genscape will only get paid its per-RIN variable cost if their biodiesel producer-client is able to sell its RINs,” Jobe said. “It is a low-risk, potentially high-reward option for those concerned about whether the program will work at returning liquidity to their RINs.”

For more information, visit the http://info.genscape.com/RIN.

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