Texas biorefinery shutting down—owner blames government uncertainty

While U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe was criticizing the Corn Lobby over biofuel subsidies, a renewable fuels company was announcing the closing of its biorefinery in Texas.

The announcement was made by Renewable Energy Group, Inc. based in Ames, Iowa and the company blamed “continued federal policy uncertainty, most notably the long-lapsed federal biodiesel tax credit.”


The company acquired the 15-million gallon per-year biodiesel plant near Texarkana, Texas in October 2012 and began producing biodiesel there several months later. The facility is capable of running both high and low free fatty acid feedstocks and has truck and rail access.

“We truly appreciate all the efforts of our team and those that support our New Boston plant,” said Brad Albin, Vice President of Manufacturing. “They significantly improved safety, demonstrated capacity, yield, quality and costs. However, these improvements could not overcome the unfavorable economics of the plant relative to our other options for ongoing focus and forward investment.”

The company is currently working with plant employees on relocation opportunities within the production network.

“This closure comes today as a result of the poor economics over the last 18 months resulting in large part from the uncertainty surrounding the Biodiesel Tax Credit,” said Cynthia J. Warner, REG President and CEO. “Despite significant bipartisan support, Congress’ inaction on this value-added incentive has led to unsustainable market conditions.”

The company operates 14 biorefineries in the U.S. and Europe and last year produced 502 million gallons of fuel.