$58.7 million biofuels plant coming to Hull, Iowa

Source: By Ty Rushing, • Posted: Monday, February 25, 2019

HULL—The state of Iowa lent its support to a $58.7 million biofuels project in Sioux County on Friday.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board approved $2.8 million in tax credits to ReadiFuels-Iowa to build a renewable diesel and jet fuel plant at the former Bison Renewable Energy site about two miles southwest of Hull.

ReadiFuels-Iowa is a joint venture between Applied Research Associates of Albuquerque, NM, and C&N Biofuels, which is a subsidiary of Mansfield Oil Co. of St. Paul, MN.

The 77-acre site was partially developed for Bison Renewable Energy in 2006-07, but the proposed plant was never built and has remained vacant. Existing infrastructure includes an electrical substation, eight concrete digesters and partially completed concrete buildings.

The state’s support is dependent on an application sponsorship and local match by the Sioux County Board of Supervisors, which amounts to a $270,000 tax exemption over a five-year sliding scale.

Additionally, Sioux County will have to spend about $750,000 for road improvements in the area, including paving half a mile of road and adding connecting turning lanes onto Highway 75.

ReadiFuels-Iowa president Chuck Red noted the location was perfect for his company.

“It sits right in the middle of ethanol country,” he said. “One of our main feedstocks is distillers corn oil from ethanol and being next to the feedstock is a nice advantage. Existing infrastructure at the site is a plus and Iowa’s county and state incentives to locate a business there certainly played in to it.”

Red is on the agenda for Tuesday’s Sioux County Board of Supervisors meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. at the county courthouse in Orange City, to discuss those items.

This project would create 31 direct jobs with a starting wage of $20.47 per hour. Construction is expected to start late this year and be completed by November 2020.

According to the ReadiFuels-Iowa, its new plant will be able to produce approximately 34 million gallons of renewable diesel and renewable naphtha annually.

It also will be the first commercial facility to use the Biofuels ISOCONVERSION process developed by Chevron Lummus Global and ARA.

The BIC process can use a diverse array of feedstocks that are not typically used to produce food or feed. ReadiFuels-Iowa will use distillers corn oil as its initial feedstock, and in the future will look to add yellow grease, brown grease, tallow, nonfood energy crop oils and algal oil.

“This is the first of its kind with great new technology and it’s been a long time coming,” Red said. “We are excited.”