Global Clean Energy Holdings Inc. (GCEH) has let a contract to Haldor Topsoe AS to provide process technology for GCEH’s previously announced plan to convert its recently purchased 70,000-b/d Bakersfield, Calif., refinery into a renewable diesel production plant (OGJ Online, May 11, 2020).
As part of the contract, Haldor Topsoe will license its proprietary HydroFlex renewable fuel technology as well as supply basic engineering, proprietary equipment, and catalysts for the refinery revamp, which—once completed—will enable the plant to produce 15,000 b/d of renewable diesel from proprietary camelina oil and other traditional biofuel feedstocks, the service supplier said on June 9.
Fuel production from the retooled refinery will meet the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard, as well as comply with ASTM D975 diesel specifications, resulting in major reductions of carbon dioxide emissions due to a lower carbon index, Haldor Topsoe said.
Alongside processing GCEH’s patented proprietary fallow-land crop varieties of camelina—which, traditionally grown in rotation with wheat, is cultivated as an alternative to fallow so as not to displace or compete with food crops—the HydroFlex unit will process a slate of additional nonpetroleum renewable feedstocks, such as used cooking oil, soybean oil, and distillers’ corn oil, among others.
The contract award—a value for which was not disclosed—follows GCEH’s May 7 purchase of the idled Bakersfield refinery from Delek US Holdings Inc. subsidiary Alon Bakersfield Property Inc. for $40 million.
Scheduled to begin immediately and take 18-20 months to complete, the revamp and conversion project will be executed primarily by local trade unions through Primoris Services Corp. subsidiary ARB Inc., which is serving as engineering, procurement, and construction contractor.
With the former oil refinery already equipped with a large portion of necessary equipment in place for production of renewable diesel, the conversion project will involve a full turnaround and refurbishment of existing equipment to enable production from renewable feedstocks.
Due for startup in late 2021, the refinery will no longer process petroleum of any kind.
Alongside making renewable fuels production from the plant available for blending into California’s transportation fuel mix in the Los Angeles metropolitan and San Francisco Bay areas, GCEH previously said it also plans to sell, market, and distribute its production through various partnerships, including one with an unidentified multinational oil major.