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Today in Energy

September 16, 2019

EIA releases plant-level U.S. biodiesel production capacity data

U.S. biodiesel production capacity by region
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Biodiesel Plant Production Capacity Report

On September 13, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its first annual U.S. Biodiesel Plant Production Capacity Report. The report includes the total biodiesel production capacity for all operating plants in both million gallons per year (gal/y) and barrels per day (b/d) as of January 1, 2019. The names of the reporting plants are organized by Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADD). Like the Ethanol Plant Production Capacity Report, EIA plans to update the report annually.

Annual production capacity refers to the volume of fuel that can be produced in a calendar year under normal operating conditions, assuming normal downtime for maintenance. Reported production capacity totals include all active plants, which includes those that are temporarily inactive.

Active plants are those plants that have produced or sold biodiesel during the reporting month. Temporarily inactive plants are those plants that have not produced or sold biodiesel during the reporting month but have not permanently ceased operations. Plants may report as temporarily inactive when they are down for maintenance or idled during times of low operating margins.

The 2019 U.S. Biodiesel Plant Production Capacity Report shows 102 operating biodiesel plants with 2.6 billion gal/year in biodiesel production capacity, or 167,000 b/d. More than half of the nation’s biodiesel production capacity is in the Midwest (PADD 2) region, led by states such as Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois. Of the top 15 biodiesel-producing states, 9 are located in the Midwest.

biodiesel production capacity by state
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Biodiesel Plant Production Capacity Report

U.S. production of biodiesel reached 1.8 billion gallons (119,000 b/d) in 2018, implying a 72% utilization rate based on the nameplate capacity level recorded at the beginning of 2018. In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA forecasts that U.S. production of biodiesel will reach about 2.0 billion gallons (128,000 b/d) in 2019, resulting in 77% utilization of reported nameplate capacity as of January 1, 2019.

Respondents report the biodiesel production capacity data to EIA on Form EIA-22M, Monthly Biodiesel Production Survey, and EIA publishes the data in the Monthly Biodiesel Production Report. All entities that produce biodiesel that meets ASTM D 6751-07B specifications and is used for commercial purposes within the United States submit Form EIA-22M. Additional data collected on Form EIA-22M include production, sales, stock changes, and feedstock inputs to production.

Principal contributor: Chris Buckner