Austrian plant manufacturer BDI-BioEnergy International (BDI) has been commissioned to upgrade two German biodiesel plants for US biofuel producer Renewable Energy Group (REG), the companies announced on 17 February.

Following the upgrade, the total 200,000 tonnes/year capacity of the two plants in Emden and Oeding would be converted to waste-based oil, BDI said.

The project is located on the North Sea harbour of Emden, Germany, at the border to the Netherlands.

The combination of BDI Retrofit technology and REG’s processing capabilities would mean the plants would be able to produce biodiesel from some of the lowest carbon intensity, hardest to convert waste fats and oils, BDI said.

The project is due to become operational by the end of next year.

REG said the project would enhance the two plants’ ability to produce renewable fuel from a wider variety of feedstocks, including ‘Generation 3’ advanced feedstocks as defined under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) II.

“This strategic investment expands our… selection of feedstock options that we run at Emden and Oeding today, and qualifies us to better serve the growing demand for low carbon fuel options in Europe,” REG president & CEO CJ Warner said.

Following REG’s acquisition of the bio-based diesel plants in 2017, the company opened a global trading office in Amsterdam for sourcing feedstocks and selling co-products and fuels.

BDI builds customised biodiesel plants and develops technologies for the industrial refining of by-products and waste products.

US-headquartered REG is one of the largest biodiesel producers in North America, and a leading biodiesel firm globally. The company operates 11 bio-refineries in the USA and Europe. In 2020, REG said it produced 1.7M tonnes of biofuels, delivering 4.2M tonnes of carbon reduction.