Columbia’s new carbon-negative renewable diesel fuel plant begins phase one of construction

Columbia’s new carbon-negative renewable diesel fuel plant begins phase one of construction
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 3:58 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Port of Columbia in Caldwell Parish is celebrating the beginning of phase one of the Louisiana Green Fuels Project.

The first phase consists of widening and hardening the main access road to the port. Officials say this will allow them to transport the equipment and resources necessary to build the world’s most carbon-negative renewable diesel fuel plant ever built.

Dr. Paul Schubert is the CEO of Strategic Biofuels, the parent company overseeing the Louisiana Green Fuels project. He says this new facility will create millions of dollars in economic development for the parish and surrounding parishes.

“The opportunity to create these 151 jobs that are good, high paying salaries for people not to have to move away when they grow up to find good jobs. It really is that impact on the community that we’re most excited about,” Schubert says.

Their plan is to use the existing resources in Louisiana to transform waste products into diesel fuel. They also plan to use carbon capture, which means the excess carbon dioxide that comes from this process will be trapped below ground. Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Shawn Wilson, says this is not a very common method.

“The products that we’re having here in Louisiana in this very rich timber market are going to be put to a monetized use here in this clean fuel source,” Wilson says.

Officials say this will impact Caldwell parish and Northeast Louisiana long into the future by creating new jobs and new business opportunities and by investing more money back into the parish.

“So it’s gonna put this parish, this port on the map because you’re gonna have rail, you will have safe truck ways, you will have the Ouachita River, all of that is going to come together to provide all of these different benefits in a very dynamic and unique way,” Wilson says.

The entire project will cost $2.8 billion and is expected to be completed in early 2026.