Kolmar Group, a Switzerland-based petrochemicals specialist, has acquired a biodiesel plant in Connecticut, US.
The company bought the Greenleaf Biofuels facility via its US arm and hopes to expand into the renewable energy sector, according to Bloomberg.
The plant, now called American GreenFuels, marks Kolmar’s first foothold in physical production.
It is expected that the plant will have a capacity of around 15m gallons (68m litres). According to the media outlet, this facility will be the largest biodiesel plant in New England.
“The acquisition in a relatively young industry seemed to make sense … we can grow be a different kind of company going forward,” Paul Teta, vice president and general counsel at Kolmar Americas, told Bloomberg.
He added: “We have eyes open for what’s next.”
The acquisition gives room for Kolmar to be a more significant biodiesel player even as an increasing number of producers sell their fuel directly, Teta said.
Though the acquisition was planned before recent US government moves to boost biofuels, the purchase may spark hopes of renewed investment for an industry that has been hit by weak oil prices and policy uncertainty.
The US government announced in late November targets for renewables use. For biodiesel, the targets were seen as relatively ambitious through 2017.
It marks the first time in years the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given the industry forward-looking mandates for use of biodiesel, ethanol and other renewables, according to the media agency.
Separately, the US government also provided a boost to the industry by extending a tax credit to fuel blenders which use biofuel, deciding in December to retroactively renew it for 2015 and extend it into the upcoming year.