Crimson Renewable Energy wins $5M grant from CEC to expand

By Crimson Renewable Energy LP | February 06, 2014

Crimson Renewable Energy LP of Denver, the largest producer of ultra-low carbon biodiesel fuel in California, announced that it has been awarded a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) to support expansion of its biorefinery in Bakersfield, Calif. Crimson’s application received the highest score of the 10 proposals submitted in response to a 2013 California Energy Commission solicitation for applications.

The Energy Commission approved the Crimson grant award on Dec. 19, 2013 in Sacramento, California, and contracts for the award were executed shortly thereafter. The Energy Commission said its solicitation was designed to provide funding for the development of commercial-scale biofuels production facilities in California that can sustainably produce at least 15 MMgy of low carbon transportation fuels.

“As the landmark low carbon fuel standard continues to foster the adoption of lower carbon, more environmentally friendly alternative fuels such as biodiesel at California’s major fuel terminals, we have sought to expand our production of ultra-low carbon renewable transportation fuel to meet that demand,” said Harry Simpson, president of Crimson Renewable Energy. “The funding and vote of confidence provided by the California Energy Commission will facilitate more rapid expansion of plant capacity at Crimson’s Bakersfield biodiesel plant—dramatically increasing production of ultra-low carbon biodiesel and enhancing the company’s sustainability.” Crimson has already completed certain portions of its engineering and design work, and has begun the process for obtaining all necessary permits and procuring equipment.

Crimson expects to begin construction of the first portions of the expansion project in the spring, and realize initial production increases in the second half of 2014. The expansion project will also allow Crimson to increase the use of ultra-low carbon materials such as corn-oil byproduct from ethanol plants, and utilize a broader range of raw materials, including newly emerging sustainable materials, such as algae oil.

“The Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program invests up to $100 million a year in innovative projects such as these, which are transforming our fuels markets and helping to meet California’s clean air and climate goals,” said Randy Roesser, deputy director of the Energy Commission’s Fuels and Transportation Division. “With the expansion of its Bakersfield biorefinery, Crimson is poised to become the state’s largest producer of sustainably produced, low-carbon biodiesel, which will have 85 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventionally produced diesel.” 

Crimson estimates that upon completion in Spring 2015, the expansion will increase annual economic activity at its Bakersfield plant by $40 million The expanded Crimson facility will also boost California‘s production capacity to approximately 50 MMgy.

“New jobs and opportunities are always welcome in Kern County,” said Sen. Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield). “Already the largest biodiesel plant in California, Crimson’s expansion project in Bakersfield will add new jobs, boost economic activity, and build upon our area’s reputation as a major leading domestic supplier for all types of energy.” 

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