REG breaks ground on $13.2M upgrade to Newton biodiesel plant

By Renewable Energy Group Inc. | February 04, 2014

Renewable Energy Group Inc. broke ground Feb. 4 on a $13.2 million improvement project at its Newton, Iowa, biodiesel refinery that will increase the plant’s ability to produce an even higher purity biodiesel from a wider array of raw materials.

REG leaders were joined by state and local officials, as well as community members and project partners, in a groundbreaking ceremony that featured Iowa Rep. Dan Kelley as the keynote speaker.

“This investment shows our continuing confidence in biodiesel for the long-term,” said Daniel J. Oh, president and CEO of REG. “It furthers our efforts to enhance our lower-cost, multifeedstock biodiesel business by continuing to broaden our customer base and provide more options for our customers to choose from.”

REG Newton refinanced its original loan through a banking syndicate led by AgStar Financial Services to extend the term and help pay for the project. The refinancing provides for an additional $5 million to fund the capital project and extends the maturity date by five years.

The upgraded process, including distillation, removes impurities and leaves behind the purest form of the fuel. The final product far exceeds quality standards set by the biodiesel industry, while meeting the company’s more rigorous REG-9000 quality specifications.

“This is a great investment for Newton,” Rep. Kelley said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the commitment that REG is showing our community. Biodiesel production is important to Iowa. By making biodiesel here in Newton, REG is providing quality jobs while contributing to energy security.”

“These upgrades will allow us to utilize a broader spectrum of lower-cost raw materials,” said Brad Albin, REG vice president of manufacturing. “It also advances our efforts to produce the highest quality product for our customers.”

REG, based in Ames, Iowa, is a leading North American biodiesel producer, with eight active refineries in four states that have a combined nameplate production capacity of 257 million gallons.

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