Speciality refining firm Vertex Energy has acquired Shell’s Mobile refinery in Alabama, the company announced on 26 May.

Following the US$75M acquisition, Vertex will become the sole owner and operator of the Mobile refinery, which will be converted to produce renewable diesel.

On completion of the US$85M conversion of the refinery’s hydrocracking unit by the end of 2022, Vertex said the facility was expected to produce approximately 10,000 barrels/day of renewable diesel and renewable by-products.

The refinery’s converted hydrocracking unit would be capable of processing a wide range of pre-treated feedstocks, including soyabean and corn oils, meat tallow and waste vegetable oils, Vertex said.

By the middle of 2023, the company expected renewable diesel production – based on current projections – to increase to 14,000 barrels/day.

“The acquisition of the Mobile refinery will be the largest, most significant transaction ever completed by Vertex, one that positions us to become a leading regional supplier of both renewable and conventional products,” Vertex president and CEO Benjamin P Cowart said.

Vertex said it planned to enter into a crude oil supply agreement with Shell, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, for an initial term of five years. In a separate agreement, Vertex expected to source renewable feedstock through a multi-year agreement with Synergy Supply and Trading, a subsidiary of Bunker Holding Group, and potentially from its planned Myrtle Grove pre-treatment facility in Belle Chasse, Los Angeles.

Vertex is a speciality refiner of alternative feedstocks and marketer of petroleum products, according to the company’s website. It is also one of the largest processors of used motor oil in the USA with operations in Houston, Port Arthur, Marrero and Heartland and co-owns the Myrtle Grove facility.