HASTINGS — A new facility in Hastings producing biodiesel from rendered animal fat (primarily beef tallow) was announced Wednesday.
The new biodiesel plant, Heartwell Renewables, is a joint venture of the Love’s Family of Companies and Cargill to produce and market renewable diesel. Heartwell Renewables plans to build a production plant.
The plant will create more than 50 jobs in Hastings. It will have the ability to produce approximately 80 million gallons annually of renewable diesel.
As part of the joint venture, Cargill will provide feedstock in the form of tallow, a rendered animal fat co-product following protein processing. Once the diesel is produced, Musket, the commodity trading and logistics arm of the Love’s Family of Companies, will transport and market the product in the United States.
Heartwell Renewables will be the only entity of its kind to both produce and market renewable diesel all the way to the retail pump.
“Heartwell Renewables expands the commitment from the Love’s Family of Companies to reduce carbon emissions,” said JP Fjeld-Hansen, vice president of Musket and Trillium, two Houston-based members of the Love’s Family of Companies.
“When considering the environmental benefits and performance enhancements of renewable diesel, the creation of Heartwell Renewables is a long-term win for not only the companies involved, but also for consumers and the environment.”
The renewable fuel will be sold at more than 550 Love’s gas stations. Demand for the product in North America is expected to increase from 1 billion gallons to 2.4 billion gallons per year by 2025.
Heartwell Renewables will break ground this spring and plans to begin operating in 2023.
Biodiesel is a renewable, biodegradable fuel manufactured domestically from vegetable oils, animal fats or recycled restaurant grease. Biodiesel meets both the biomass-based diesel and overall advanced biofuel requirement of the Renewable Fuel Standard.
The production process makes renewable diesel chemically identical to petroleum diesel with significant improvements in environmental performance due to its drop in carbon intensity and emissions, according to Heartwell Renewables. Renewable diesel also has a faster combustion speed, which brings more power to an engine and has been shown to lead to lower vehicle maintenance.
The Love’s Family of Companies is headquartered in Oklahoma City and employs more than 30,000 people across the United States.
Love’s Travel Stops has more than 550 locations in 41 states, including a location at Aurora.
Musket Corp. specializes in commodity supply, trading and logistics across North America. Trillium, a provider of renewable fuels and alternative fueling solutions, offers expertise in compressed natural gas, hydrogen, electric vehicle charging, renewable natural gas, solar installation and on-site electricity generation.
John Niemann, Cargill’s North American lead for protein ingredients and international, said, “Through the partnership with Love’s, both companies can leverage their unique expertise and resources to address the growing demand for biofuels while making an impact in the communities where we operate.”
Once the Hastings plant opens, it will be one of only a handful of renewable diesel plants in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Department.
“The Heartwell Renewables facility presents an exciting combination of agriculture and renewable energy that will create new jobs and continue to grow our state’s economy,” said Gov. Pete Ricketts. “Nebraska is the ideal location for this venture, leveraging our expertise in production agriculture and renewable fuels. I look forward to watching Cargill and Love’s grow this endeavor in Hastings.”