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Aemetis inks California facility deal as demand for renewable diesel, SAF grows


Riverbank site will produce 90 million gal/year RD and SAF

Will convert orchard waste to renewable hydrogen

  • Author
  • Janet McGurty
  • Editor
  • Daniel Lalor
  • Commodity
  • Agriculture Energy Transition Oil
  • Tags
  • United States

Aemetis has signed an agreement with the City of Riverbank, California, to acquire a former military base to build its 'Carbon Zero 1' sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel refinery on the site, the company said Dec. 22.

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The facility, about 100 miles due east of San Francisco, will produce 90 million gal/year of SAF, RD and other products to support the company's recently inked fuel offtake agreements with airlines and trucking companies,

Power will be provided by an onsite hydroelectric substation with 100% low carbon hydroelectric power and will supply aviation and truck markets with ultra-low renewable fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"The Aemetis Carbon Zero facility is designed to support almond and other orchard farmers to dispose of wood waste by converting a portion of the 3 billion pounds of annual orchard wood waste into negative carbon intensity, renewable hydrogen used in sustainable jet and renewable diesel fuel production," Aemetis said.

As airlines and trucking industries look to reduce their carbon footprint, demand for RD and SAF has been growing, particularly in California whose Low Carbon Fuel Standard adds extra credits to the $1/gal federal Blenders Tax Credit.

All renewable fuel producers also get the value of the Renewable Identification Number credit or RIN created under the Environmental Protection Agency's Renewable Fuel Standard.

As of September, the US had 911 million gal/year of renewable diesel capacity, according to US Department of Energy. Several RD and SAF projects are expected online in 2022 including those in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana which will increase supply.

Under the terms of the agreement, Aemetis will manage current tenants, utilize existing production facilities for new tenants or as production facilities, and develop vacant portions of the site with planned renewable fuels and carbon sequestration facilities, according to the statement.

On Sept. 30, Aemetis signed a deal with Delta Air Lines to supply $2.1 billion of SAF under a 10-year agreement. On Dec. 1, the company signed a deal with American Airlines to supply 280 million gallons of SAF delivered to the San Francisco Airport. On Nov. 30, Aemetis signed memorandums of understanding with seven other oneworld Alliance airlines for SAF supply.

On Dec. 17, Aemetis signed a $3 billion, 450 million gallon, 10-year supply agreement with a large travel stop company which it did not identify to supply RD to California fueling locations.