SOMERSET, Ky. — Continental Refining Co. has been awarded $1.725 million as part of $100 million in competitive USDA grant Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) for activities designed to expand the availability and sale of renewable fuels. The HBIPP program was created to increase significantly the sale and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by expanding the infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products.
Hemisphere Limited, the parent company of Continental Refining Co. (CRC), announced plans in November to invest $25 million to acquire, relocate and install a soybean crushing, biodiesel refining, and blending facility at the current CRC oil refinery in Somerset.
This 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.
CRC’s transformational concept has been well received by the local, regional, and state community as well as suppliers of raw materials and customers of the CRC products. Now the Federal Government is showing its support.
Entrepreneur and Hemisphere Limited CEO Demetrios Haseotes purchased the refinery in 2011, investing over $40 million in updating and improving the facility’s crude oil refining capabilities. Although known as an oilman for several decades, agriculture is the root of his family’s business empire and has been a major focus of Hemisphere Limited. Under the Hemisphere Limited umbrella of companies, Haseotes started Midland Farms in 2002 – now a large New York-based fluid dairy processor. He acquired Warner Fertilizer earlier this year.
The conversion of Continental’s Somerset facility is already well underway. CRC has initiated the permitting process with the Kentucky Division of Environmental Protection (KDEP). The biodiesel plant has been procured and engineering services are currently being performed to develop the plans necessary for installation.
Its anticipated startup is in the 1st Quarter of 2022, along with a new fuels terminal that is currently 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 an anticipated startup in the 3rd Quarter of 2022. Haseotes expects to receive and begin processing soybeans by the 2nd Quarter of 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 5 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.
CRC is located on 77 acres in the heart of Somerset, KY. This revitalization process would include the acquisition and installation of its soybean crushing and biodiesel facility. 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. CRC’s product terminal will have the ability to distribute over 130 million gallons of product.
CRC intends to generate income by engaging in the sales of the below-listed products and services:
- ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel) both on-road and off-road
- Biodiesel ranging from B6 to B100
- High-protein fiber meal for animal feed (targeting the broiler chicken industry)
- Soy Hulls
- Soybean Oil for industrial use
- Crude Glycerin
Continental Refining Company will utilize local businesses to provide soybean feedstock that will be refined into biodiesel fuels to support the farm, school and community fuel needs of Pulaski County, Kentucky, and surrounding regions.
- Biodiesel is a domestically produced, clean-burning, renewable substitute for petroleum diesel. Using biodiesel as a vehicle fuel increases energy security, improves air quality and the environment, and provides safety benefits.
- The proposed in-state crushing facility will reduce costs for farmers, keep jobs in Kentucky, reduce wear and tear on infrastructure and contribute positively to the economies of Pulaski County and the greater Commonwealth.
- The revitalized facility will have a significant economic impact, as it relies heavily on a network of producers and has the potential to develop ancillary business opportunities through the supply chain. Beneficiaries include local producers, equipment and machinery manufacturers, other value-added agriculture processors, and businesses in the construction and logistics service sectors to name a few.
More information about Continental Refining Company may be found at www.conrefco.com
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