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Seaboard Energy selects Haldor Topsoe HydroFlex for Hugoton revamp

Denmark-headed Haldor Topsoe A/S, a global leader in high-performance catalysts and proprietary technologies for the chemical and refining industries has announced that it has been selected by US renewable fuels producer Seaboard Energy LLC, to supply its HydroFlex technology to Seaboard's biorefinery complex in Hugoton, Kansas (KS).

Seaboard Energy purchased an idle cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton from Synata Hugoton, LLC in February 2019, and selected Haldor Topsoe HydroFlex and H2bridge technology to repurpose the facility to produce renewable diesel (photo courtesy Seaboard Energy).

A subsidiary of the diversified international agribusiness and transportation company Seaboard Corporation, Seaboard Energy (previously known as High Plains Bioenergy) currently owns and operates two biodiesel plants located in Oklahoma (OK) and Missouri (MO) with a combined annual production capacity of 75 million (US) gallons (≈ 284 million litres).

The company produces and delivers pipeline-quality renewable natural gas (RNG), as well as distributes compressed natural gas (CNG).

In February 2019 Seaboard Energy acquired the idled Synata Bio cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas (KS) who in turn had originally purchased the non-operating plant out of the Abengoa bankruptcy in 2016.

Revamp Hugoton to renewable diesel

Since then Seaboard Energy has been evaluating the best potential opportunities and uses for the Hugoton biorefinery, including modifications to produce renewable diesel.

Haldor Topsoe has been selected as the licensor and supplier of basic engineering, proprietary equipment, catalyst, and technical services for a renewable diesel unit at the Hugoton biorefinery. The project is based on its “HydroFlex”, a world-leading, industry-proven technology to produce renewable fuels from a wide variety of renewable feedstocks.

We chose Topsoe after a very thorough investigation into the technologies available in the market. Topsoe’s solution does not only promise the highest yield; it was also the least complicated and most efficient to implement. The fact that Topsoe can deliver the integrated hydrogen unit along with the hydroprocessing unit was important for us as well. Finally, our visit to Topsoe’s R&D facilities emphasized to us that we are working with a world-leader in the field, said Gary Louis, President, and CEO, Seaboard Energy.

According to Haldor Topsoe, with HydroFlex, customers can convert low-value feedstocks to renewable fuels that qualify for the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit.

The innovative process layout offers lower capital expenditure (CAPEX), but also a lower energy consumption during operation, resulting in a lower Carbon Index (CI), and can be deployed in both grassroots units and revamps for co-processing or stand-alone applications.

We are very proud that Seaboard Energy has chosen HydroFlex and H2bridge for their strategic expansion into renewable diesel. Seaboard is an impressive organization with businesses in many different industries. We look forward to starting up this plant with our friends from Seaboard, said Henrik Rasmussen, Managing Director, The Americas, Haldor Topsoe Inc.

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