Valero Energy and Darling Ingredients have approved the $1.1bn expansion of their jointly owned Diamond Green Diesel plant, a renewable diesel refinery in Norco, Louisiana.
The expansion of the Diamond Green Diesel plant is being taken up to increase its production capacity of renewable diesel by an additional 400 million gallons to 675 million gallons per year.
Valero Energy said that the expansion project is driven by the low carbon mandates in North America and Europe, which are projected to continue, leading to a strong demand and premium pricing for renewable diesel.
As per the partners, the expansion of the renewable diesel refinery will be made by adding a second, independent parallel plant located next to the existing facility. The expansion project will also include a renewable naphtha finishing facility with a production capacity of around 50 to 60 million gallons of renewable naphtha.
The new naphtha finishing facility at the Diamond Green Diesel plant will add incremental low carbon credit opportunities to its entire operation, said Darling Ingredients.
The expansion project of the renewable diesel refinery is expected to be wrapped up in late 2021.
Valero chairman, president and CEO Joe Gorder said: “We’re pleased to be taking this next step in our partnership with Darling Ingredients.
“This growth project fits nicely within our current capital allocation framework and is expected to deliver high returns for investors without changing our capital profile.”
Valero Energy expects its 50% share of the Diamond Green Diesel plant expansion to be covered by cash generated by the renewable diesel refinery’s operations.
Darling Ingredients chairman and CEO Randall C. Stuewe said: “We are pleased both Boards approved the new investment and plan to commence construction immediately.
“Our joint venture with Valero exemplifies the combined strength and skills of the largest global independent refiner with the largest low carbon feedstock supplier in the world.”
The Diamond Green Diesel plant, which entered into production in June 2013, produces renewable diesel by processing recycled animal fat, used cooking oil and corn oil.