Link to video: http://youtu.be/y1XcoV_sOCU
(AMES, IA) December 15, 2014 – Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGI) celebrated Monday the completion of upgrades to its 30-million gallon nameplate biorefinery in Newton, Iowa, which allows the plant to produce an even higher purity biomass-based diesel from a wider variety of raw materials.
Iowa U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack and Mike Naig, Deputy Secretary of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, joined community and business leaders to mark the occasion. REG broke ground on the $13.2 million project in February and completed it in November, four months ahead of schedule and on budget.
In addition to the production process upgrades, a further $2.6 million was invested to expand storage capacity by 2 million gallons and enhance logistics, for a total investment of $15.8 million.
“Enhancing REG Newton’s distillation and processing capabilities strengthens our lower-cost, multi-feedstock biomass-based diesel business and provides customers with more fuel options both in the Midwest and nationwide,” said Daniel J. Oh, REG President and CEO. “This plant was already a high performing facility that deserved additional investment and I am confident the return on investment will be rapid.”
The project provides Newton with production capabilities similar to those at the REG Albert Lea biorefinery. The upgraded process, including distillation, removes impurities and leaves behind a very pure form of biomass-based diesel. The final product far exceeds industry quality standards, while meeting REG’s more rigorous REG-9000™ specifications. The fuel also performs better in colder temperatures.
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 an additional $5 million to fund the capital project and extends the maturity date by five years.
“These improvements allow REG Newton to provide customers with the highest quality end product at a full 30 million gallons a year utilization rate for a wide array of raw materials, including inedible corn oil,” said Brad Albin, REG Vice President, Manufacturing. “This increased feedstock flexibility drives demand for local feedstock suppliers, enabling them to keep their products in the region.”
Rep. Loebsack praised REG’s investment and commitment to advanced biofuels that lower greenhouse gas emissions and provide energy security and diversity.
“I applaud REG for their focus on innovation and economic development in Iowa,” said Rep. Loebsack. “The men and women they employ work hard every day to help produce biomass-based fuel. As a long time champion of the Renewable Fuel Standard, I will fight to make sure we never lose our focus on renewable fuels and to expand the renewable energy industry. I’m proud to represent REG who gives so much back to Newton and to our great state.”
REG now owns 10 operational biorefineries in six states, including two other Iowa plants in Ralston and Mason City. Based in Ames, the company is a leading North American advanced biofuel producer.
About Renewable Energy Group
Renewable Energy Group, Inc. is a leading North American advanced biofuels producer and developer of renewable chemicals. REG utilizes a nationwide production, distribution and logistics system as part of an integrated value chain model to focus on converting natural fats, oils and greases into advanced biofuels and converting diverse feedstocks into renewable chemicals. With 10 active biorefineries across the country, research and development capabilities and a diverse and growing intellectual property portfolio, REG is committed to being a long-term leader in bio-based fuels and chemicals.
For more than a decade, REG has been a reliable supplier of advanced biofuels which meet or exceed ASTM quality specifications. REG sells REG-9000™ biomass-based diesel to distributors so consumers can have cleaner burning fuels that help diversify the energy complex and increase energy security. REG-9000™ biomass-based diesel is distributed in most states in the US. REG also markets ultra-low sulfur diesel and heating oil in the northeastern and midwestern US. For more information on REG visit our website at www.regi.com.
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 as amended, including statements regarding the expected production and financial benefits of the Newton plant upgrades. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections that are subject to change. Actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors including, but not limited to, risks associated with changes to government policy or regulation, including RFS2 and governmental tax credits and incentives; changes in the spread between biomass-based diesel prices and feedstock costs; the future price volatility of feedstocks, petroleum and products derived from petroleum; the effect of excess global capacity in the biomass-based diesel industry; unanticipated changes in the US biomass-based diesel markets; seasonal fluctuations in operating results; market competition; dependence on sales to a single customer; technological advances, new methods of biomass-based diesel production or the development of energy alternatives to biomass-based diesel; and other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in REG's annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Forms 10-Q and other periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and REG does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements based on new developments or changes in our expectations.