Area biodesel plant tops 1 billion gallons

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Renewable Energy Group announced Monday the company has surpassed selling 1 billion gallons of biofuel in its 17-year history.

The company operates and owns a biodiesel plant five miles southeast of Albert Lea near Glenville. Some know the plant by its former name, SoyMor. REG operated the plant and was the general contractor in its construction before it purchased it in 2011 from its 600 owners. It began production in 2005. The plant sat idle from 2008 to 2011 primarily because of high commodity prices for soybean oil. Since then, it has been up-grade to accommodate a variety of feedstock.

“Our facility in Albert Lea was our first 30-million-gallon plant that we built and has been a significant contributor for a very long time,” said Daniel J. Oh, president and CEO of Ames, Iowa-based REG. “We appreciate how the Albert Lea and Glenville communities have supported us through this important milestone.”

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REG was formed and began operating as an independent company in 2006, as the successor to the biodiesel operations of West Central Cooperative in Ralston, Iowa, which first began producing biodiesel from a 1 million-gallon-per-year-batch plant in 1996. Private investors, including West Central, provided capital enabling the company to grow, both organically and through acquisitions in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey and Texas. In January 2012, REG became a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange and trades under the ticker REGI.