Edwards: Louisiana Green Fuels plans $700M refinery

Louisiana

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at a news conference to discuss testing statistics and contact tracing pertaining to COVID-10, Friday, May 8, 2020, at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge, La. (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Plans are in the works to build a renewable diesel plant in north Louisiana.

The Louisiana Green Fuels project is a $700 million venture by Olathe, Kansas-based Strategic Biofuels LLC, a project development company.

The plant, to be located on leased land inside the Port of Columbia in Caldwell Parish, would produce up to 32 million gallons of renewable fuel annually. Renewable diesel, which is made from feedstocks including plants oils, used cooking oil and animal fat, can power vehicles with diesel engines. The Louisiana Green Fuels project would use wood waste for its feedstock.

Louisiana Green Fuels is completing feasibility and financing phases in anticipation of a final investment decision by late 2022, Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a news release Friday. If all goes through, the initial plant operations would begin in early to mid-2025.

Edwards’ office said Louisiana Green Fuels would also create 76 new jobs with an average salary of $68,000. During a 30-month building phase, the project would generate 450 construction jobs, Edwards said.

“Louisiana Green Fuels is an example of how our state can merge traditional and emerging forms of energy in exciting ways to address climate change,” Edwards said. “The company has engaged Justiss Oil of Jena to drill a (carbon) sequestration test well that will confirm the integrity of carbon storage a mile below the earth’s surface.”

Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing carbon released into the air and injecting it at least one mile underground, according to the company’s website.

The statement added that the project will boost the state’s forestry sector through the harvesting of timber byproducts in a sustainable fashion. It also said it expected the refinery would achieve “better than net-zero emissions,” and added “it would actually remove more carbon from the environment than it produces.”

Strategic Biofuels CEO Paul Schubert said Caldwell Parish is the ideal location for the plant.

“It combines the required forestry waste feedstock for fuel production and the right geology for carbon sequestration within the State of Louisiana’s visionary legislative framework, which has been further strengthened by the Climate Initiative established by Governor Edwards.”

LED began formal discussions about the project in July 2020.

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