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NEXT Renewable Fuels granted lease for $1 billion renewable diesel plant in Oregon

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The Port of Columbia County has approved a long-term ground lease for NEXT Renewable Fuels to develop a renewable diesel production facility on 90 acres at Port Westward in the US state of Oregon.

NEXT will invest over $1 billion (€0.9 billion) in building an Advanced Green Diesel facility, which will convert organic feedstock such as used cooking oil into renewable diesel. The facility will have an initial capacity of 37,500 barrels per day (bpd) of the biofuel, with potential to expand to 50,000 bpd at full capacity.

“It has been a very long and deliberate process in securing a lease that will not only provide well-paying jobs to the community but will also produce a renewable energy commodity that will protect the environment and significantly reduce our carbon footprint,” said Doug Hayes, executive director of the Port of Columbia County.

The planned facility is expected to create over 200 full-time jobs, generate over $12 million (almost €11 million) annually in local property tax revenue, and will employ 800 workers during the construction phase. NEXT will not accept any tax breaks and will pay the full amount to the local community.

“The finalisation of the ground lease affirms our commitment to Columbia County and will allow us to immediately move forward on permitting Oregon’s first Advanced Green Diesel production facility,” said NEXT president Lou Soumas. “The renewable fuels we will produce in Columbia County will make Oregon a leader in the reduction of carbon emissions and a leading production centre for the advancement of clean energy initiatives.”

“This lease is an important step in the economic development of Columbia County and the Port is eager to partner with NEXT as they work through getting all of the required permits necessary for this project to succeed,” added Port Commissioner Robert Keyser.

The biofuels facility is due to begin commercial operations in 2022.