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REFINERY NEWS: Diamond Green Diesel St. Charles renewable diesel expansion starting up

Refinery: St. Charles, Louisiana

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Owner: Diamond Green Diesel (50-50 venture between Valero Energy and Darling Ingredients)

Capacity: 690 million gal/yr RD, 30 million gal/yr renewable naphtha

Duration: Project complete Q3 2021

Notes: Valero said the expansion project at its joint-venture renewable diesel venture with Darling Ingredients had been completed in the third quarter and was in the process of starting up.

"We are excited to report that the Diamond Green Diesel expansion project at Valero's St. Charles refinery was successfully completed on-budget and ahead of schedule," Valero CEO Joe Gorder said in the company's third-quarter earnings statement Oct. 21.

The Diamond Green Diesel 2 RD project at St. Charles was expected online in the fourth quarter of 2021. The expansion will increase the facility's total capacity to 690 million gal/year of RD and 30 million gal/year renewable naphtha.

"This is a testament to the strength of our engineering and operations team, who got this accomplished despite Hurricane Ida challenges," Gorder said in the statement.

Both the refinery and the renewable diesel facility were hard hit by Hurricane Ida, which made landfall Aug. 29 as a Category 4 hurricane just south of the plant, heavily damaging power infrastructure. Both the refinery and RD facility were restarted Sept. 14.

Operations at the new DGD plant at Valero's Port Arthur, Texas, refinery are still slated to begin in the first half of 2023 with a capacity of 470 million gal/yr of RD, increasing DGD's RD production to about 1.2 billion gal/yr and renewable naphtha production to 50 million gal/yr, Valero said in its earnings statement.