Renewable Energy Group Completes Upgrades at Mason City Biorefinery

Dec 01, 2014

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Renewable Energy Group Completes Upgrades at Mason City Biorefinery

(MASON CITY, Iowa) October 23, 2014 – Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGI) celebrated Thursday the completion of upgrades to its 30-million gallon biorefinery in Mason City, Iowa, which allows the plant to produce biodiesel from a wide variety of raw materials.

Several state and local government and business leaders were on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the occasion.  REG began the $20 million project approximately one year ago, shortly after the company re-started the plant, which the company purchased in July 2013.

The upgrades enable the Mason City biorefinery to utilize multiple raw materials, such as inedible corn oil, animal fats and greases, in addition to the refined vegetable oils the plant was originally designed to process. The upgrades were completed almost two months ahead of schedule and within budget.

“These upgrades further expand and strengthen our multi-feedstock business model, which allows REG to produce and deliver high-quality biomass-based diesel at an affordable price to growing regional and national markets,” said Daniel J. Oh, REG President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are well-positioned to meet growing demand in Iowa, with its retail incentive for advanced biofuels, and in Minnesota as it increases its use of higher biodiesel blends.”

Biomass-based diesel produced at the plant meets the company’s REG-9000™ quality specifications, which meet or exceed the industry ASTM standards. The upgrade project supported 56 full-time construction jobs.

REG also improved the existing front-end technology at the biorefinery that enables higher yields from free fatty acids in the production process.

“Enhancing the plant’s pretreatment and distillation capabilities will enable us to take a broader spectrum of lower-cost feedstocks and produce a high quality product,” said Brad Albin, REG Vice President, Manufacturing. “The increased feedstock flexibility helps drive greater demand for local feedstock suppliers and keeps more of their products in the Midwest.”

REG acquired the Mason City biorefinery in July 2013 and reopened the plant three months later. The company was awarded approximately $2.5 million in incentives from the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the City of Mason City for the project. The plant employs 30 full-time, skilled workers and supports jobs in other industries including farming, transportation, processing and rendering.

“This is a great investment for Mason City,” said Iowa State Sen. Amanda Ragan.  “REG has invested millions of dollars in our local economy while bringing permanent jobs for skilled workers to our area. By making biodiesel in Mason City, REG is helping Iowa remain the largest advanced biofuel producing state in the nation.”

REG now owns 10 biorefineries in six states, including two other Iowa plants in Ralston and Newton. REG also owns a 30-million gallon a year facility in Albert Lea, MN, which completed a similar upgrade project last year.


About Renewable Energy Group

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. is a leading North American advanced biofuels producer and developer of renewable chemicals. REG utilizes a nationwide production, distribution and logistics system as part of an integrated value chain model to focus on converting natural fats, oils and greases into advanced biofuels and converting diverse feedstocks into renewable chemicals. With 10 active biorefineries across the country, research and development capabilities and a diverse and growing intellectual property portfolio, REG is committed to being a long-term leader in bio-based fuels and chemicals.

For more than a decade, REG has been a reliable supplier of advanced biofuels which meet or exceed ASTM quality specifications. REG sells REG-9000™ biodiesel to distributors so consumers can have cleaner burning fuels that help diversify the energy complex and increase energy security. REG-9000™ biodiesel is distributed in most states in the U.S. REG also markets ultra-low sulfur diesel and heating oil in the northeastern US.

Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 as amended, including statements regarding the expected favorable impact of the Company's plant upgrades and the future growth of its markets.  These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections that are subject to change, and actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, potential changes in governmental programs and policies requiring or encouraging the use of biofuels, including RFS2; changes in the spread between biodiesel prices and feedstock costs; the future price and volatility of feedstocks; the future price and volatility of petroleum and products derived from petroleum; availability of federal and state governmental tax credits and incentives for biodiesel production; the effect of excess capacity in the biodiesel industry; unanticipated changes in the biodiesel market from which we generate almost all of our revenues; seasonal fluctuations in our operating results; competition in the markets in which we operate; our dependence on sales to a single customer; technological advances or new methods of biodiesel production or the development of energy alternatives to biodiesel; our ability to successfully implement our acquisition strategy; our ability to use the technology acquired from LS9 to produce renewable chemicals, fuels and other products on a commercial scale and at a competitive cost, and customer acceptance of the products produced; our ability to successfully integrate the recently acquired operations of Syntroleum and Dynamic Fuels and their employees into our existing business; whether the Dynamic Fuels, LLC renewable diesel plant, will be able to produce renewable diesel profitably, if at all; and other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in REG's annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Forms 10-Q and other periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

All forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and REG does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements based on new developments or changes in our expectations.