Semi-drivers and farmers in Seneca now have a more accessible location to fill up on biofuel.
Community members gathered Wednesday morning at the Seneca location of Renewable Energy Group, Inc. to celebrate and witness the grand opening of the company’s first diesel fueling station.
The station is located off of Shipyard Road to the east of town. It is operational 24/7 and is open to all diesel vehicle owners from semi fleets to local farmers.
“This diesel fueling station is another example of how REG is moving fuel forward by expanding our capabilities,” said Cynthia J. Warner, REG President and CEO, “It gives us another avenue of getting our high quality, clean fuel to new and existing customers.”
State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) and Seneca Mayor Jeff Olson joined REG staff in presenting remarks on the project’s completion.
“This is a great edition to our community,” Olson said, “As an agriculture-based community, this will be an excellent resource for local farmers to get fuel.”
Olson also noted that although Seneca boasts several convenience store fuel stations, none of them had the room to comfortably accommodate large semi’s looking to fuel up on diesel.
Those choosing the REG Fuel Station will also spend less time waiting at the pump. The new station pumps at 40 gallons per minute, according to REG Seneca. This is compared to the standard 10 gallons per minute at a conventional gas station, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Several REG personnel praised state legislation that incentivized production of diesel blends between B11 and above and cited it as the reason they chose Seneca REG to open their first pump. B11 blend is fuel that is 11 percent biofuel and 89 percent conventional diesel. Seneca REG produces blends up to B20.
“We hope that Illinois continues to make legislation that incentivizes biofuel. It’s important to this community and to our local agriculture,” said Gary Haer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Haer also noted the new fueling station will benefit the thousands of trucks already visiting REG Seneca.
“More than 17,000 trucks go through REG Seneca each year,” Haer said, “We are thrilled that those who help support our industry and the local community can fuel their vehicles right here at this station.”
After remarks had concluded, community members gathered at the fueling station for the ribbon cutting ceremony and first fuel up. Brian Stoller of Gridley was the first customer to use the facility.
“It’s a great honor to get to be the first to use this. It’s exciting and I’m glad it’s here,” Gridley said, “It’s definitely going to get a lot of use around here.”
According to REG Seneca, the plant invested $75 million into Illinois agriculture last year through the purchasing of feedstocks. The plant also reduced approximately 556,000 metric tons of CO2compared to emissions from petroleum diesel.