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Love's, Cargill to Build Renewable Diesel Plant in Nebraska Joint Venture

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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Cargill and Love's announced a joint venture to build a renewable diesel plant in Hastings, Nebraska. (Logo courtesy of Heartwell Renewables)

Cargill and Love's Family of Companies announced a joint venture on Tuesday, building an 80-million-gallon renewable diesel production plant in Hastings, Nebraska, and making the fuel available to consumers at Love's Travel Stops across the country.

The 50/50 joint venture has been named Heartwell Renewables, and will produce renewable diesel using tallow, a rendered animal fat co-product to be provided by Cargill, according to a news release from the companies.

The plant is expected to create more than 50 full-time jobs in Hastings, according to the companies.

The renewable diesel will be transported and marketed by Love's commodity trading and logistics arm, Musket.

"Heartwell Renewables expands the commitment from the Love's Family of Companies to reduce carbon emissions," 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 production process makes renewable diesel chemically identical to petroleum diesel, but with improvements in environmental performance as a result of its drop in carbon intensity and emissions. The companies said in a news release renewable diesel has a faster combustion speed, which brings more power to an engine and has been shown to lead to lower vehicle maintenance.

"At Cargill, we believe agriculture can be part of the solution to some of the world's toughest challenges," John Niemann, Cargill's North American lead for protein ingredients and international, said in a news release.

"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."

Construction is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, with the plant set to launch production in spring 2023.

Once in operation, the plant will be one of only a handful of renewable diesel plants in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

"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," Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a statement.

"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."

Love's is headquartered in Oklahoma City and employs more than 30,000 people across the United States. There are more than 550 Love's Travel Stops locations in 41 states.

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