Cargill, Love's announce Nebraska venture to produce renewable diesel

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A Cargill logo is pictured on the Provimi Kliba and Protector animal nutrition factory in Lucens, Switzerland, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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NEW YORK, April 20 (Reuters) - Cargill and Love's Family of Companies announced Tuesday they have entered into a joint venture to produce and market renewable diesel in the United States.

The companies will construct a new production plant in Hastings, Nebraska, that will produce about 80 million gallons annually of renewable diesel, a cleaner fuel which can be made from natural fats, vegetable oils and greases that can power vehicles with diesel engines.

The venture will be the only project of its kind to both produce and market renewable diesel all the way to the retail pump, the companies said in the announcement.

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A growing number of companies, including oil refiners, have announced investments in renewable diesel over the last year. Companies can earn credits from producing the fuel through state and federal clean fuel incentive programs.

As part of the joint venture, Cargill, based in Minnesota, will provide tallow as a feedstock. Once the fuel is produced, Musket, the commodity trading and logistics arm for Oklahoma City-based Love's, will transport and market the product.

The venture, called Heartwell Renewables, will employ at least 50 full-time positions in Hastings, the announcement said. The plant is due to start operating in spring of 2023.

"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 Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts in the announcement.

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Reporting by Stephanie Kelly. Editing by Mark Potter

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