IRVING, TX --- Darling International Inc. said it has begun forming a joint venture with a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corp. to build a biodiesel facility.

The planned facility would be capable of producing over 10,000 barrels/day, or 135 million gallons per year, of renewable diesel. The facility is planned for a site adjacent to Valero's St. Charles refinery near Norco, La.

The proposed plant is expected to convert waste grease -- primarily animal fats and used cooking oil supplied by Darling -- into renewable diesel.

Darling and Valero will together seek a loan guarantee for the proposed joint venture from the U.S. Department of Energy under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This act makes $8.5 billion of debt financing guarantees available for projects that employ innovative energy efficiency, renewable energy and advanced transmission and distribution technologies.

"We have long considered various paths that would allow Darling to participate in the country's growing interest in using renewable fuels," said Darling International CEO Randall Stuewe. "We believe that the combination of Darling's ability to provide low-cost carbon-friendly feedstocks and Valero's experience as North America's largest independent petroleum refiner and marketer has the potential to create a sustainable biofuel facility geared toward meeting America's growing renewable energy demands." 

Darling International Inc. specializes in food processing and by-products recycling. The company recycles used restaurant cooking oil -- as well as by-products from the beef, pork and poultry processing industries -- into useable products such as tallow, feed-grade fats, meat and bone meal, and hides. These products are primarily sold to agricultural, leather, oleo-chemical and biodiesel manufacturers around the world.