Top Green Diesel Maker Widens Used Grease Quest With Latest Deal

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(Bloomberg) — Neste Oyj, the world’s biggest maker of renewable diesel, is looking to add to its arsenal of used cooking oil and discarded animal fats as it seeks to expand its North American supply chain. 

The Finnish company plans to buy Minnesota-based Agri Trading, one of the largest independent renewable waste, residue fat and oil traders in the U.S., Jeremy Baines, president of Neste’s North American operations, said in an interview on Tuesday. He didn’t disclose the terms of the planned deal. 

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Neste, a refiner that began building its biofuel business more than a decade ago, is competing in an increasingly crowded space as fossil fuel giants like Exxon Mobil Corp. jump on the green diesel bandwagon. Neste says the purchase will add to its network of more than 40,000 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada from which it collects used cooking oil to make biofuel. The deal will also improve the company’s ability to ship such raw materials and fuel globally, Baines said. 

“The more efficient we are, the more we can reduce carbon emissions,” Baines said. 

Neste has long touted its network of discarded animal fats and other feedstocks used to make green diesel. The company is now looking to dominate “next generation” ingredients and is “investigating” sustainable soy oil, Baines said. 

READ MORE: Top Biofuel Maker Eyes Garbage in Widening Feedstock Hunt

Closely held Agri Trading will help supply Neste’s new Singapore renewable fuel refinery, which is set to open in early 2023. 

The deal is expected to be completed within weeks, and Neste plans to retain all Agri Trading employees and keep all its facilities open, including the company’s business of selling ingredients for agricultural feed, according to Baines. 

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