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$500 million virgin seed oil biodiesel refinery proposed

A group of investors is looking to develop a new biodiesel refinery in Cowlitz County, Washington, according to tdn.com.

Over a year ago the same group of Houston based investors had proposals for oil, propane and biodiesel projects rejected by the Port of Longview. Now, they are focusing on a refinery dedicated to biodiesel processing, abandoning plans to also include crude oil. In addition, the newly proposed project wouldn’t be located on Port of Longview property.

If given the go ahead, the new Riverside Renewables LLC plant would process 150 gallons (682 million litres) of virgin seed oil as a ‘drop in’ replacement fuel for diesel trucks, according to the company. Lou Soumas, a spokesman for Riverside, told tdn.com that the facility would process biodiesel for domestic markets and would not use palm oil.

So far, the investors have yet to disclose where the proposed project would be located, but Soumas did reveal that they had been in discussion with several private companies.

Construction of the biodiesel refinery could potentially start in 2018 and create an estimated 800 construction jobs and 130 permanent jobs, according to Riverside's press release. The company claims the fuel produced by the plant would emit 70% less greenhouse gases than traditional fossil fuels, meeting low-carbon standards for British Columbia, California and Oregon.