Of German Fries and French Fries: Chevron REG begins to expand again

September 8, 2022 |

Today we have a take of Two Fries.

The first, the region of Northwest Germany known as East Frisia and where the port city of Emden is located. The other is a story of fryer oil, and a new partnership to expand distribution in restaurant truck fleets. So, German Fries and French Fries, today in the Digest.

The News arrived first from Germany regarding Chevron Renewable Energy Group — and it’s worth reminding ourselves that CREG has two plants in Germany, it’s toehold in international expansion, the last of which we might not yet heard. 

We won’t have long to wait because, wait for it, yes, CREG has broken ground on the expansion of its Emden, Germany biorefinery , located where the River Erns meets the sea on the extreme northwestern German coast. 

Ye olde English-only speakers did not know that you could speak a bit of a foreign language, but you can. Frisian is reasonably similar to English, they say that “Bread, butter and green cheese is good English and good Fries”, “in Frisian it’s “Brea, bûter en griene tsiis is goed Ingelsk en goed Frysk” and the pronunciation is about the same.

It is not the search for language compatibility that brings Chevron REG to be expanding at its Emden plant, rather it is the pursuit of feedstock diversity. Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred biogenic feedstocks contend, I think is how the old Chinese poem put it.

The expansion includes the addition of a pretreatment system at the facility, which is expected to allow the business to utilize a broader variety of feedstocks for the production of biodiesel. 

The groundbreaking event took place at the Chevron Renewable Energy Group Emden facility and included policymakers, media and special guest Environment Minister of the State of Lower Saxony, Mr. Olaf Lies. Construction has recently started on the project and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2023, with start-up by year-end. 

The Chevron REG assets in Germany 

Chevron Renewable Energy Group operates biodiesel production facilities in Emden and Oeding, Germany — the latter is also near the Duth border, about 130 miles to the south, just north of Essen. The expansion project in Emden is designed to benefit both facilities by enabling the business to refine some of the lowest carbon intensity feedstocks, including ‘Generation 3’ feedstocks as defined under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) II.

Expanding the offtake – Restaurant Technologies CREG create circular system for use of Cooking Oil as Fuel

Word also arrived that Restaurant Technologies is utilizing biofuels from Chevron Renewable Energy Group in its commercial vehicle fleet. The step is unique because the biofuels come from Restaurant Technologies’ own total oil management business – one which manages millions of gallons of fresh and used cooking oil for major restaurant chains across the U.S. each year.

For more than 10 years, Restaurant Technologies has provided Chevron Renewable Energy Group with used cooking oil, collected from its 34,000+ customers including quick-service and full-service restaurant chains, independent restaurants, grocers, hotels, casinos, universities and hospitals. The used oil is utilized as a feedstock to produce biodiesel and renewable diesel. With Restaurant Technologies now utilizing these lower carbon fuels in its own fleet, the two organizations are creating a working circular economy.

Restaurant Technologies will initially utilize a B30-B50 blend, 30-50% InfiniD (biodiesel), with the remainder petroleum diesel. 

Chevron Renewable Energy Group is already delivering biofuels to power Restaurant Technologies’ fleet located at the Des Moines, Iowa depot, with plans to expand to more depot locations across the nation. 

Reaction from the stakeholders

“Chevron is building a leading renewable fuels platform that can rapidly help provide lower carbon solutions to the transportation sector and this project is a key pillar of that strategy,” said Kevin Lucke, president of Chevron Renewable Energy Group. “Feedstock innovation and acceptance is critical to the growth of bio-based fuels globally and we continue to advocate for the ability to utilize all generations of feedstocks and technology neutrality.” 

“The REG plant in Emden is part of Lower Saxony’s waste biodiesel industry, which produces liquid fuels with one of the largest greenhouse gas reductions for Europe,” said Environment Minister of the State of Lower Saxony, Mr. Olaf Lies. “Here, waste fats are converted into climate-friendly fuels – for shipping and road transport. There and in aviation, we will need climate-neutral liquid fuels. That’s why we welcome the investment to process advanced raw materials in Emden, which supports the state government’s climate protection strategy. The future viability of the Emden site is demonstrated by VW’s decision to use the fuel produced here for its own shipping.”

“Restaurant Technologies runs the most effective proprietary closed loop oil management system through its extensive network of depots across the United States,” said Tyler Reeder, managing partner, ECP and board member at Restaurant Technologies. “By adopting a process where the company can use biofuel created through its own business model, Restaurant Technologies is setting an example for those who prioritize sustainability as a business practice.” 

“At Restaurant Technologies, our goal has always been to reduce the impact on humans and the environment by better managing cooking oil,” said Jeff Kiesel, president and CEO of Restaurant Technologies. “And as a company focused on sustainability, we are really excited to be able to “walk the walk” by fueling our own commercial fleet with biofuel created from the used cooking oil we collect.”

“Chevron believes the future of energy is lower carbon. And bio-based diesel is a lower carbon solution for the transportation sector,” said Kevin Lucke, president of Chevron Renewable Energy Group. “Our collaboration with Restaurant Technologies to secure renewable feedstocks has been critical to our work for years. Now it’s our turn to help them achieve their sustainability goals through the use of biofuels, with the adoption of our EnDura Fuels.” 

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