REG to buy, restart east Texas biodiesel refinery

Renewable Energy Group (REG) has acquired a 15 million gal/year biorefinery located in New Boston, Texas, the US-based biodiesel producer said on Thursday.

With the acquisition, REG's nameplate biodiesel production capacity is expected to increase to more than 225 million gallons annually, according to the company. 

REG paid $300,000 in cash and issued 900,000 shares of its common stock to North Texas Bio Energy for the multi-feedstock biorefinery, located about 22 miles west of Texarkana.

It is REG's second Texas biodiesel production facility, following the 2008 acquisition of its Houston-area plant.

"Bringing New Boston into the REG family grows our solid, proven business model of using lower cost feedstock and providing cleaner energy solutions for American consumers," said REG chief executive Daniel J. Oh.

"Our customers across the southern US demand more REG-9000 biodiesel, and this is a long-term plan to respond to our customers' needs. We remain focused on strategic growth by increasing the availability of biodiesel in high distillate demand regions throughout North America," Oh added.

The New Boston facility began production in June 2008 and has been idled for approximately four years. Brad Albin, REG vice president of manufacturing, said the plant will undergo some construction and minor upgrades prior to the facility's start-up, which is expected in the first quarter of 2013.

REG said it plans to utilize animal fats and other high free fatty acid feedstocks to produce biodiesel at the refinery. The company has initiated RFS2 registration through the EPA.

"The REG technology team will soon be on-site in New Boston to re-start the biodiesel process with a plan to have high quality, REG-9000 biodiesel available in the market upon the completion of the EPA registration process," said Albin.

The company said it expects to hire nearly 20 full-time, green-collar employees at the REG New Boston site.

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