SOMERSET, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Continental Refining Company announced it is moving
forward with plans to invest an additional $20 million to acquire and install a soybean crushing, biodiesel refining and blending facility at the current CRC oil refinery in Somerset, Ky.
CRC has completed its evaluation of the project feasibility and is making progress with detailed design, equipment procurement, permitting, and construction of a soybean processing facility, biodiesel plant, and a fuels terminal.
The ability to produce biofuels and soy-based products in Somerset will open new markets while providing farmers, CRC’s customers, vendors, investors and the community a solid AgriTech business opportunity that provides a positive economic impact for the entire region, the company said in a statement.
CRC products will include: Soy Meal, Soy Oil, Soy Hulls, B100, Crude Glycerin, Bio Diesel, Gasoline, and other products.
CRC has garnered the support of Pulaski, Wayne and Adair County Agriculture Development Councils.
Local entrepreneur and Hemisphere Limited CEO Demetrios Haseotes purchased the refinery in 2011, investing more than $60 million updating and improving the facility’s crude oil refining capabilities.
Haseotes will now shift his focus to soybeans as the future of diesel energy production and additives at his Continental refinery, according to the statement.
The conversion of Continental’s Somerset facility is under way. CRC has initiated the permitting process with the Kentucky Division of Environmental Protection.
The biodiesel plant has been procured and engineering services are being performed to develop the plans necessary for installation, the company said.
It’s anticipated startup is in the 4th Quarter of 2021, along with a new fuels terminal that is being designed with equipment procurement and installation to follow.
The soybean processing equipment is deep into its design phase with equipment procurement and installation soon to follow and anticipated startup in the 1st Quarter of 2022.
Haseotes expects to receive and begin processing soybeans by January 2022.
CRC would create up to 20 new jobs with an annual payroll of over $1.2 million and an average salary range of approximately $18-20 per hour.
To date, CRC has hired five of the needed 20 employees with plans to hire 6 more by Summer 2021, and the rest coming on board in the 4th Quarter of 2021, the company said.
CRC is located on 77 acres. CRC’s crushing facility will process nearly four million bushels of soybean per year (84 thousand tons) while its biodiesel refining division will generate up to five million gallons per year as planned, according to the company’s plans.
CRC’s product terminal will have the ability to distribute over 130 million gallons of product.