US refining company Continental Refining Company (CRC) has announced work has started on its soyabean crushing, biodiesel refining and blending facility in Somerset.

In its statement on 21 December, the company said the US$26.8M refinery at its Refinery Road site was due to become operational this year.

Once fully operational, the plant was expected to process up to 84,000 tonnes/year of soyabeans and generate up to 18.9M litres/year (5M gallons/year) of biofuel, CRC said.

The company’s current operations include the distribution of Phillips66 products and on-site fuelling for business and residential customers in Pulaski County and the surrounding region.

However, the new facility will expand the company’s range to include soya meal, soya oil, soya hulls, biodiesel, ultra-low sulphur diesel, crude glycerine, gasoline and other products.

CRC was awarded a US$1.7M grant from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program for activities designed to expand the availability and sale of renewable fuels.

“The ability to produce biofuels and soya-based products in Somerset will open new markets while providing farmers, CRC’s customers, vendors, investors and the community a solid agritech business opportunity that provides a positive economic impact for the entire region,” CRC’s general manager and vice president of operations Kris Gibson said.