Biodiesel giant enters petroleum business

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporte • Posted: Monday, February 17, 2014

Renewable Energy Group Inc., the country’s largest biodiesel company, is expanding into the petroleum business.

The Ames, Iowa-based company announced Wednesday that it is launching a division that will sell petroleum-based heating oil and diesel. REG officials said the new subsidiary will allow it to offer more blends of petroleum-based fuel and biodiesel, a renewable fuel made from soybean oil, animal fats and used cooking grease.

“It allows us to offer more products to our customers, including more biofuel blends, while also expanding our customer base,” REG President and CEO Daniel Oh said in a statement.

REG biodiesel plants across the country have an annual capacity of 257 million gallons. The new company, REG Energy Services LLC, will sell petroleum-based heating oil and ultra-low-sulfur diesel at seven

The company will be headquartered in New Hampshire. Barry Knox, a downstream petroleum distribution specialist who spent the last 14 years as chief operating officer of Total Energy Solutions LLC, will lead the division.

This is the latest in a series of expansions for the publicly traded Renewable Energy Group. Last month, REG announced it was expanding into the renewable chemicals market with the purchase of LS9 Inc., a San Francisco-based startup producing drop-in fuel and chemicals from plants using biological catalysts (Greenwire, Jan. 23).

REG in December also announced it would acquire Syntroleum Corp., a developer of gas-to-liquids and renewable fuel technologies that owns a 50 percent interest in Dynamic Fuels LLC, the nation’s leading green diesel producer.