PBF Energy Inc. and partner Eni SPA subsidiary Eni Sustainable Mobility SPA (ESM) have completed construction on the main production unit of 50-50 joint venture (JV) St. Bernard Renewables LLC’s (SBR) new biorefinery co-located and still partially under development at PBF Energy subsidiary Chalmette Refining LLC’s 185,000-b/d dual-train coking refinery in Chalmette, St. Bernard Parish, La.
After reaching mechanical completion during first-quarter 2023, the SBR project’s renewable diesel production unit has been turned over to operations, with the first feedstocks scheduled for introduction to the unit this month, PBF Energy told investors in its latest earnings release on May 5.
Construction remains under way on a pretreatment unit at the manufacturing site that, once online, will allow SBR to process renewable materials such as soybean oil, corn oil, and other biogenically derived fats and oils into feedstocks for the production unit.
With the pretreatment anticipated to reach mechanical completion in June, PBF Energy said in its regulatory filing for first-quarter 2023 that it expects SBR’s Chalmette plant to be producing renewable diesel and other products sometime during first-half 2023.
At a total projected cost of $650-700 million, the SBR renewables plant and related project infrastructure comes as part of PBF Energy’s proposed JV with ESM that, formed in February, is scheduled to be finalized during third-quarter 2023, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals (OGJ Online, Apr. 3, 2023).
Once fully operational, SBR’s on site pretreatment unit will enable upgrading of about 1.1 million tonnes/year (tpy) of renewable materials into feedstocks for an idled, conventional hydrocracking unit that has been retrofitted with the Eni-Honeywell UOP LLC codeveloped proprietary Ecofining process technology to produce 20,000 b/d of renewable diesel (OGJ Online, Aug. 23, 2021).
In addition to helping the Chalmette refinery meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard mandates for blending of renewable fuels into the diesel pool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the SBR project forms part of PBF Energy’s plan to prepare the refinery for a green energy transition.