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Renewable Energy Group forced to close Texan biodiesel plant

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Clean fuel provider Renewable Energy Group (REG) has been forced to close its biodiesel plant in New Boston, Texas, citing ‘challenging business conditions and continued federal policy uncertainty’ for the closure.

The 15 million gallon per year biorefinery, which was acquired by REG in 2012, is located near Texarkana in Texas. The plant is able to run both high and low free fatty acid feedstocks, and has both truck and rail access.

“We truly appreciate all the efforts of our team and those that support our New Boston plant,” said Brad Albin, vice-president of manufacturing. “They significantly improved safety, demonstrated capacity, yield, quality and costs. However, these improvements could not overcome the unfavourable economics of the plant relative to our other options for ongoing focus and forward investment.”

The long-lapsed federal biodiesel tax credit was a major factor in the company’s decision to cease operations at the facility. “This closure comes today as a result of the poor economics over the last 18 months resulting in large part from the uncertainty surrounding the biodiesel tax credit,” confirmed president and CEO Cynthia Warner.

“Despite significant bipartisan support, Congress’ inaction on this value-added incentive has led to unsustainable market conditions.”

REG is working to relocate plant employees within its production network in the US.