US agribusiness giant Cargill has entered into a 50/50 joint venture with the family-owned Love’s group of companies to produce renewable diesel, the companies announced on 20 April.

The Heartwell Renewables joint venture will include the construction of a new production plant in Hastings, Nebraska, and will produce approximately 80M gallons/year (3bn litres/year) of renewable diesel, according to the companies.

The project would involve Cargill providing tallow as feedstock while Love’s commodity trading and logistics arm, Musket, would transport and market the product in the USA, the companies said.

Construction of the Hastings plant is scheduled to begin shortly with operations expected to start in the spring of 2023, according to the companies.

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores (Love’s) is an Oklahoma-headquartered chain of more than 500 truck stop and convenience stores in 41 states in the USA.

The chain also includes two Houston-based companies: Musket Corporation, which specialises in commodity supply, trading and logistics across North America, and Trillium, a leading provider of renewable fuels and alternative fuelling solutions.

Another Love’s company, Gemini Motor Transport, is a nationwide motor carrier comprised of 850 trucks hauling fuel and refined fuel products including diesel exhaust fluid, propane, ethanol, jet, biodiesel and speciality products.