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North Dakota oil refinery planning vegetable oil-fuel facility

North Dakota’s Tesoro Refinery is looking to develop a vegetable oil-to-fuel facility, according to the Associated Press.

The Dickinson, North Dakota based oil refinery is planning to implement an 8,000 barrel-per-day diesel hydrotreater to process soy or distillers corn oil into renewable diesel, a recent article in the <a href="http://bismarcktribune.com/news/opinion/editorial/two-projects-bode-well-for-north-dakota/article_7ba6d74b-1f6b-5feb-97c4-cb9836455648.html">Bismarck Tribune</a> reported. The North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) has awarded the Tesoro Refinery a $500,000 (€436,000) grant to help meet the project’s $3.5 million (€3 million) cost.

When operational, the new facility will treat 16,800 gallons per-day of vegetable oils to create a 5% renewable diesel mix. It will also provide an extra market for regional oil seed processing facilities.

In its application to the NDIC, the company explained the differences between the product it would create and biodiesel. “Compared to biodiesel that is blended into petroleum diesel at truck racks, renewable diesel is a superior quality product because, unlike biodiesel, renewable diesel is a pure hydrocarbon stream containing no oxygen.”

"Once Tesoro purchased the facility, the company has looked for opportunities to optimize the refinery and create a reliable, long-term operation," the company said in a statement. "The implementation of the renewable diesel project is one such opportunity."

Construction on the new facility is expected to be started in October, with production beginning in late 2017 or early 2018, according to the Bismarck Tribune.