The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has forecast a sharp rise in the country’s renewable diesel production capacity by 2024, Biodiesel reported on 22 July.

In its This Week in Petroleum report, the EIA predicted US renewable diesel production would reach 330,000 barrels/day by 2024, up from 38,000 barrels/day in 2020, Biodiesel wrote.

The expected expansion was due to growing targets for state and federal renewable fuel programmes and renewable diesel production incentives, according to the EIA.

Much of the expected increase would come from retrofitting idle petroleum refineries, the EIA said, with oil refineries such as Marathon Petroleum’s facility in Martinez, California, and the Phillips 66 plant in Rodeo, California, currently converting to renewable diesel production.

Almost all US imports of renewable diesel entered the country in the West Coast where the fuel was used to meet Low Carbon Fuel Standard targets in California, according to the report.

However, most existing current renewable diesel capacity was located on the Gulf Coast near existing oil refineries, the EIA said.

Looking ahead, the EIA predicted the majority of new US renewable diesel capacity would be built on the West Coast to serve nearby low carbon fuel markets, while it was likely the remainder would be built on the Gulf Coast to capitalise on existing refinery infrastructure, Biodiesel wrote.

Based on its capacity estimates, the EIA said it predicted renewable diesel production capacity could represent 20% of total diesel production on the West Coast by 2024 and 4% of total estimated diesel production capacity on the Gulf Coast.

Across the whole of the USA, renewable diesel capacity would account for 5% of total diesel production in 2024, according to the EIA report.