US refining company Continental Refining Company (CRC) is investing a further US$20M in its biodiesel project in Kentucky, the company announced on 28 April.

The company said its plans included a soyabean crushing, biodiesel refining and blending facility at its existing oil refinery in Somerset.

CRC said its crushing facility would process almost four 4M bushels/year of soyabean (84,000 tonnes) while the biodiesel refining division would generate up to 18.9M litres/year (5M gallons).

Products produced at the facility would include soya meal, soya oil, soya hulls, B100, crude glycerine, biodiesel, gasoline and other products, CRC said.

The refinery was purchased in 2011 by local businessman and Hemisphere Limited CEO Demetrios Haseotes, who had since invested over US$60M updating and improving the facility’s crude oil refining capabilities.

CRC said the refinery’s focus would now shift to soyabeans as a feedstock in biodiesel production.

“The south central and south eastern regions of Kentucky have industries and institutions that rely on diesel fuels, and because Kentucky is a leader in the nation for soyabean production, the region also has the raw materials and technology to make biodiesel at a scale that reflects the local and regional demand.” Haseotes said.

The refinery was expected to start production in the final quarter of this year with soyabean processing due to start in the first quarter of next year.