By Stephanie Kelly
NEW YORK, April 23 (Reuters) - Strategic Biofuels LLC, a project development company, announced on Friday it plans to develop a renewable diesel plant in Louisiana that will produce up to 32 million gallons per year of renewable fuel using wood waste.
The company, through its subsidiary Louisiana Green Fuels, will invest at least $700 million for the project, the announcement said. The development is one of many over the last year, as companies, including oil refiners, scramble to capture incentives for the production of renewable diesel.
Renewable diesel, which is made from feedstocks including plants oils, used cooking oil and animal fat, can power vehicles with diesel engines. The Louisiana Green Fuels project will use wood waste for its feedstock.
The project will generate nearly 500 new jobs for Louisiana's Caldwell Parish and the surrounding region, according to estimates from Louisiana Economic Development. Within that total, the company will create 76 new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of more than $68,000, plus benefits, the announcement said.
"This project would boost our state's forestry sector by harvesting timber byproducts in a sustainable fashion, and the refinery's renewable diesel output would be accomplished in a carbon-negative fashion," Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said in the announcement.
With the slew of announcements from companies around renewable diesel production, some in the market are already warning of decreasing supplies for used cooking oil.
"Used cooking oil is pretty close to being tapped out right now in the U.S.," said Martin Parrish, senior vice president of alternative fuels at Valero, on Thursday. (Reporting by Stephanie Kelly Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)