Today, Secretary Chu announced the offer of a conditional commitment for a $241 million loan guarantee to Diamond Green Diesel, LLC., the DOE Loan Program’s first conditional commitment for an advanced biofuels plant. The loan guarantee will support the construction of a 137-million gallon per year renewable diesel facility that will produce renewable diesel fuel primarily from animal fats, used cooking oil and other waste grease streams. The project will nearly triple the amount of renewable diesel produced domestically and help diversify the Nation’s fuel supply.
Located in Norco, Louisiana, about 20 miles west of New Orleans, the Diamond Green Diesel project is expected to create 700 jobs during peak construction and over 60 jobs during operation. In addition, approximately 95 percent of the project components are expected to be produced in the United States. The diesel produced by the plant will reduce greenhouse gases by more than 80 percent over conventional petroleum-based diesel and will fulfill almost 14 percent of a national mandate to boost production for biomass-based diesel.
The Diamond Green Diesel project is a joint venture between Valero Energy Corporation and Darling International Inc. Valero Energy Corporation will direct the design, construction and operation of the project, and market all of its output, while Darling International Inc. will supply feedstock to the project.
The project will be the first application of its kind in the U.S. to use an innovative hydrotreating/isomerization process from Desmet Ballestra Group and Universal Oil Products, LLC known as EcofiningTM which converts processed feedstock into high-quality diesel. Feedstocks will include recycled animal fats, recycled cooking oils and other feedstocks.
Secretary Chu summarized the impact of this project during his announcement: "Today’s announcement reflects this Administration’s commitment to promoting the development of advanced biofuels. Strong biofuels projects like Diamond Green Diesel can help to diversify our transportation fuel supply while creating jobs and strengthening our economy."