New plant owner optimistic about future of biodiesel

Sharna Johnson

An Iowa renewable energy company that has acquired a Clovis biodiesel plant says it is optimistic about the future of biodiesel.

Wednesday, Renewable Energy Group announced it has purchased a twice-stalled biodiesel plant planned for Clovis.

Company spokeswoman Alicia Clancy said REG is “excited” about its future in Clovis.

However she said the company has no immediate plans to restart the project because market and regulatory conditions are much the same as they were when the project stalled under ARES in March 2008.

“Some of those market conditions are still in place… I think everyone would agree we’re still feeling that pinch,” Clancy said.

“Renewable Energy Group has to continue to try to find a good way to go for with this facility in the midst of those market conditions still being there.”

Clancy said it is premature to speculate on how many jobs the facility could generate or other economic influences it may have on the community.

“It’s a really good location… It’s definitely a location that we’re excited about and a strategic part of our network,” she said.

She described REG as a strong company with a proven track record in renewable energy and biodiesel.

REG has locations in Iowa, Minnesota, Texas and Illinois and employs 175.

“Renewable Energy Group has shown strong biodiesel industry leadership when it comes to creating green collar jobs at its industry leading biodiesel production facilities,” Clovis Industrial Development Corporation Executive Director, Chase Gentry was quoted as saying in the release.

“We look forward to REG’s involvement in this ongoing green economy project as the city of Clovis, state of New Mexico and the Southwest region look to reduce our dependence on imported oil and improve our air quality.”

As part of the agreement, former owner ARES Corporation has invested $8 million in REG as a strategic investor, according to a release from REG.

Clancy said the investment is a demonstration of ARES faith and confidence in REG.