An increase in new renewable diesel plants set to start production in the USA in the next three years will not be enough to offset the loss of petroleum diesel following plant closures since 2019, according to Reuters analysis of federal data.

Over the last two years, US refining capacity had dropped due to plant closures during the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing prices to spike, the 21 June report said.

Several plants were being converted to facilities that could produce renewable diesel, Reuters wrote. However, those facilities would not fully replace those lost.

At least 12 renewable diesel projects worth more than US$9bn were currently being built, with another nine proposed, the report said.

Once the new plants become operational, total renewable diesel production in the USA is expected to reach 135,000 barrels/day (bpd) by 2025 compared to the current total of around 80,000bpd, according to US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

However, diesel production capacity had dropped by a total of about 180,000bpd since 2019, the EIA said, and at least one more US refinery was set to close next year, further reducing output. In addition, refiners who were planning to produce renewable diesel would not produce gasoline or jet fuel.