Renewable Energy Group, Inc. celebrated Wednesday the grand opening of its Geismar biorefinery, which is now producing renewable hydrocarbon diesel (RHD) in commercial-scale quantities.

The event marked the successful start-up of the 75-million gallon nameplate capacity plant that REG acquired in June. Beginning production on October 14, REG Geismar, LLC has already produced more than 4.7 million gallons of renewable fuel. REG-9000/RHD produced at the plant meet or exceed ASTM D975 standards.

“REG Geismar strengthens our core biomass-based diesel business, allowing us to further expand our product offering to our customers,” said Daniel J. Oh, REG President and CEO. “It reinforces our commitment to advanced biofuels and demonstrates our confidence in this market.”

The Geismar biorefinery, REG’s largest, is the company’s first plant to produce RHD using Bio-Synfining technology developed by REG Synthetic Fuels, LLC in Tulsa, Okla. The process converts a wide range of feedstocks, such as animal fat, inedible corn oil, used cooking oil and vegetable oils, into renewable fuel.

In addition to RHD, the Geismar facility produces renewable naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas. The plant employs 45 full-time employees and 30 contract maintenance workers.

“Our teams in Geismar, Tulsa, and Ames worked together to bring this plant online, producing at rates near its nameplate capacity,” said Derek Winkel, REG Executive Director, Manufacturing Operations. “We are pleased with the progress made and will continue to build upon our success with future planned upgrades to the plant.”

Local businesses welcomed REG and applauded its investment in the community.

“REG will re-energize a facility that has been out of commerce for two years, and use their innovative technology to create an economic driver for Ascension Parish and the region,” said Adam Knapp, President and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.”

“We are very excited to welcome REG to Ascension Parish,” said Sherrie Despino, president and CEO of the Ascension Chamber of Commerce. “We recognize the importance of our industry partners and look forward to a long-lasting working relationship.”