Volume 5, Issue 1
Published: February 15, 2011
Exercising prudence in a resurging US biodiesel market
US biodiesel production came to a virtual standstill with the expiration of the federal tax credit on 31 December 2009. Last year was a tough year in the industry by anyone’s standards. However, with the new renewable fuels standard, the extension of the biodiesel tax credit late last year, and the current price of RINS, many US biodiesel plants are now taking a serious look at restarting. As obligated parties under RFS2, US refiners are weighing the option of buying or building their own facilities versus simply purchasing product from a third party. Foreign biodiesel interests are also closely monitoring their opportunities in the US biodiesel market. While things have undoubtedly changed for the better in the US biodiesel sector, restarting operations still carries significant risks for the uninformed. 2011 looks much more promising than the past few years and financial considerations are certainly enhanced, albeit certainly not forever resolved, by the one year extension of the tax credit. So there is no time to waste in getting production facilities approved. This is especially true considering that the EPA has a three month waiting period from the application to the granting of permits and RFS2 certification to produce Renewable Identification Numbers (RINS). There is also a time element involved in becoming eligible for the blenders’ credits.
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