US engineering conglomerate Honeywell announced on 30 September that Diamond Green Diesel will expand its annual production capacity of renewable diesel using its Ecofining process technology to meet growing demand for renewable fuels in North America and Europe.

“With the planned US$1.1bn expansion, the Norco, Louisiana-based facility will become one of the world’s largest renewable diesel plants.”

Diamond Green Diesel, a joint venture of Valero Energy Corp and Darling Ingredients Inc, was currently the largest commercial advanced biofuel facility in the USA, producing 275M gallons/year (1.3bn litres) of renewable diesel, Honeywell said.

“The plant expansion is expected to be completed in late 2021, and will increase the facility’s annual production by nearly 150%, to 675M gallons (3bn litres).”

Honeywell said that with low carbon mandates in North America and Europe projected to continue driving strong demand and premium pricing for renewable diesel, the expansion would add a second, parallel plant adjacent to the existing facility.

“With the expansion, Diamond Green Diesel will also produce about 60M gallons/year (273M litres) of renewable naphtha for the production of gasoline.”

Honeywell said its Ecofining process was developed in conjunction with Italian oil and gas multinational Eni SpA, which launched its 750,000 tonnes/year renewable diesel facility in Gela, Italy in August.

The technology uses hydrogen to deoxygenate a feedstock, with a second stage isomerisation step, to produce renewable diesel, as well as naptha, jet fuel and LPG.

Darling Ingredients is a leading rendering company with processing operations in over 200 locations across the world.

“With the combination of Darling’s ability to provide feedstocks in the form of tallow from recycled animal by-product and used cooking oil collected from restaurants, and Valero’s experience as the world’s largest independent petroleum refiner, our biofuel facility is helping to meet growing renewable energy demands,” Diamond Green Diesel said on its website.

Valero operates 15 petroleum refineries in Canada, the UK and USA, and 14 ethanol plants in the USA with a combined production capacity of 1.73bn gallons/year (7.9bn litres).