November 15, 2023 [Biodiesel Magazine]- Officials at Calumet Specialty Products Partners L.P. discussed the company’s proposed plans to boost sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production at its Montana Renewables biorefinery during third quarter earnings call, held Nov. 9.
Calumet in February 2021 first announced plans to produce renewable fuels at its existing refinery in Great Falls, Montana, by reconfiguring its oversized hydrocracker to process up to 15,000 barrels per day of renewable feedstocks, producing renewable diesel and SAF. The company in late December 2022 reported the biorefinery had generated a full month of on-spec
renewable diesel and had commenced rail shipments of the product. At that time, the biorefinery the capacity to produce 6,000 barrels per day, with capacity scheduled to increase to 12,000 barrels per day following the commissioning of renewable hydrogen, SAF and feedstock pretreatment systems in early 2023. Those systems became operational earlier this year. Current SAF capacity is in the range of 2,000 to 4,000 barrels per day, but Calumet is considering a plan, referred to as MaxSAF, that would boost total capacity to 18,000 barrels per day, including 15,000 barrels per day of SAF.
Louis Todd Borgmann, CEO of Calumet, confirmed during the third quarter earnings call that Calumet is continuing to progress engineering around its proposed MaxSAF project and has narrowed the field to a short final list of technology providers and general contractors. He said the company is in the final stage of the application process to secure a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy and expects to be in a position to fully launch the MaxSAF project as soon as it secures DOE approval.
Also during the call, Borgmann provided an update on current operations at the Montana Renewables facility during the third quarter. “The quarter started with a strong proof point of Montana Renewables’ earnings power as we generated $14.2 million of adjusted EBITDA in July while processing 70 percent of geographically advantaged untreated feedstock,” he said. Operations at the facility, however, were impacted by a crack found in the stream drum within the newly constructed hydrogen plant. Borgmann said the company initially planned to repair the drum quickly onsite, but after getting a closer look at damage decided to replace the steam drum. The replacement was installed as of Nov. 9 and was expected to be mechanically complete within the following few days.
Montana Renewables ran at reduced rates while the steam system was under repair. As a result, Borgmann said the company took the opportunity to pull forward a catalyst change that was otherwise scheduled for April 2024.
Calumet’s Montana Renewables segment reported $38.2 million of adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter, compared to EBITDA of $11.3 million during the same period of last year.
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