Chevron Technology Ventures, a subsidiary of oil company
giant Chevron Corp., will enter the biodiesel production ring in March with a
22-percent stake in a renewable-fuels plant opening in Galveston, TX.
The $10-million Galveston Bay Biodiesel plant is expected to
generate about 20 million gallons per year from soybeans, Chevron officials
said in a statement.
Chevron officials say the operation could grow to 100
million gallons per year within a couple of years, which would make it a
frontrunner among U.S. plants either under development or currently operating.
Biodiesel production in the United States hit 75 million
gallons in 2005, according to the National Biodiesel Board, but that number
doubled in 2006. Approximately 86 plants currently online or in development
will result in that number doubling again in the next few years.
Big oil has been dabbling in the development of biodiesel
production up to this point, but Chevron's move into production is a first,
Other investors in the Galveston plant include Contango
Capital Biofuels Partners, Galveston Bay Biodiesel Management, Sultex, Mobius
Risk Group and Beaver Creek Fund.
Chevron Corp. and its subsidiaries have invested $1 billion
in renewable energy sources including hydrogen, geothermal technology,
biofuels, battery systems and solar power, according to the company.