Last updateFri, 11 Oct 2019 2pm

Plans for First-of-its-Kind Diesel Plant Under Way in Port Arthur

Darling Ingredients and Valero are addressing the growing demand for renewable diesel in global, low carbon markets by initiating an advanced engineering and development cost review for a new plant in Port Arthur, TX. The proposed facility under review would be designed to produce 400 million gallons of renewable diesel annually as well as 40 million gallons of renewable naphtha. The new plant would be owned and operated by Diamond Green Diesel Holdings LLC (DGD), the 50/50 joint venture between Darling Ingredients and Valero.

The proposed Port Arthur plant, the first renewable diesel facility in Texas, would be in a location to leverage Valero's existing refinery and optimize logistics management. The production from this new plant would increase DGD's annual renewable diesel production to approximately 1.1 billion gallons with nearly 100 million gallons of renewable naphtha production. The final investment decision on the project is expected in 2021, subject to further engineering, obtaining necessary permits, and approval by the boards of Darling and Valero. If the decision is made to move forward, new plant construction could begin in 2021, with expected operations commencing in 2024.

Texas Port Planning Major Oil and Gas Upgrades

“The Port of Beaumont will issue $500 million in revenue bonds, the largest it’s ever issued for a public-private capital project, the Beaumont Enterprise reports.

“When issued, the bonds will help pay for a large capital project aimed at expanding and improving infrastructure for the port’s energy transportation partner, Jefferson Energy, as it continues to receive more oil and gas resources at the port.”

U.S. Specialty Chemical Markets Start Quarter on Soft Note

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported that, reflecting soft manufacturing production, U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes eased 0.1% in July after a 0.2% gain in June, small gains in April and May and a generally weak first quarter. All changes in the data are reported on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. Of the 28 specialty chemical segments ACC monitors, 11 expanded in July, 16 markets declined, and one was flat. During July, no large market volume gains (1.0% and over) occurred among segments. During July, the overall specialty chemicals volume index was up 1.4% on a year-over-year 3MMA basis.

EPA Proposes Changes to Limits on Methane Emissions

A new proposal from the EPA would rescind emissions limits for methane, from the production and processing segments of the industry but would keep emissions limits for ozone-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These sources include well completions, pneumatic pumps, pneumatic controllers, gathering and boosting compressors, natural gas processing plants and storage tanks. The controls to reduce VOCs emissions also reduce methane at the same time, the EPA argues, so separate methane limitations for that segment of the industry are redundant.

In an alternative proposal, EPA would rescind the methane emissions limitations without removing from regulation any sources from the transmission and storage segment of the industry.

The agency also is seeking comment on alternative interpretations of EPA’s legal authority to regulate pollutants under section 111(b)(1)(A) of the Clean Air Act.

New Study Highlights Importance of U.S. Waterways Infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a significant new study that quantifies the cost-savings and competitive advantages that would accrue from investing in long-delayed improvements to inland waterways locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River system.

The study, entitled, Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture, addresses the critical connection between the inland waterways and the competitiveness of American agriculture in global markets. U.S. farmers and agribusinesses, as well as the overall U.S. economy and balance of trade, depend upon and benefit from the inland waterways and its infrastructure, which provide the safest, lowest-cost and most environmentally sustainable and fuel-efficient way to move grain and other agricultural products.

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