US refiner Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) and global agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM) have formed a joint venture for the production of soyabean oil to supply growing demand for renewable diesel, ADM announced on 19 August.

The joint venture would own and operate ADM’s previously announced soyabean processing complex in Spiritwood, North Dakota, with ADM owning 75% of the joint venture and MPC owning the remaining 25%, the company said.

Following completion in 2023, the Spiritwood facility would source and process local soyabeans and supply the resulting soyabean oil exclusively to MPC, ADM said. The approximately US$350M complex would process 150,000 bushels of soyabeans/day, ADM said. It was expected to produce approximately 272,155 tonnes (600M pounds)/year of refined soyabean oil, which would provide enough feedstock for around 283M litres (75M gallons) of renewable diesel/year, according to the company.

In addition to the Spiritwood joint venture, the companies said they expected to explore other opportunities for agriculture to support renewable transportation fuels.

“We already provide MPC with soyabean oil for renewable diesel production, but this agreement will significantly expand our collaborative relationship,” ADM’s president of North America oils, biodiesel and renewable chemicals Ken Campbell said.

MPC’s senior vice president of strategy and business development Dave Heppner said the joint venture marked another step in optimising and sourcing feedstock for its nearby renewable diesel facility in Dickinson.