Red and green biodiesel pump fueling station

(Photo: Iowa Biodiesel Board)

Iowa Plant Shutdown Reflects Need for Stronger RFS Volumes

March 1, 2024 | Brock Johnston

Ankeny, Iowa – Chevron Renewable Energy Group (Chevron REG) announced the company will indefinitely idle its biodiesel plant in Ralston, Iowa, and another in Wisconsin citing poor market conditions resulting from weak biodiesel volumes under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard.

Grant Kimberley, Iowa Biodiesel Board executive director, made the following statement:

“While we are disappointed to learn of the idling of the Chevron REG biodiesel plant in Ralston, we have not heard of plans for any other Iowa biodiesel plant in the state to go off-line. However, the industry warned EPA about the possibility of plant closures when it set the federal Renewable Fuel Standard volume obligations well below our overall capacity. RIN values have suffered as predicted and that hurts the bottom line of biofuel plants.

“We will continue to work with EPA to try to increase biodiesel blending requirements, which is clearly more in line with the Biden administration’s stated decarbonization goals. With improved profit margins, biodiesel producers will have healthier businesses and perhaps the Ralston plant would reopen, benefiting the Iowa economy and national decarbonization efforts alike.”

Suzanne Shirbroun, Iowa Soybean Association president and soybean farmer from Farmersburg, added the following:

“Farmers are already experiencing a profit squeeze, with rising production costs and tightening margins. Low biodiesel sales further put the farm economy at risk. A strong Iowa biodiesel market helps farmers weather difficult economic times and supports Iowa’s thriving agriculture industry. By increasing soybean oil value, biodiesel supports 13% of the per bushel price soybeans. It also lowers the price of soybean meal, a key ingredient for livestock producers and the food supply.

"We thank ISA advocate-members for their continued engagement with lawmakers to help grow biofuels and better position the industry moving forward.”


Not funded by the soybean checkoff

The Iowa Soybean Association ( is “Driven To Deliver” increased soybean demand through market development and new uses, farmer-focused research and results, timely information and know-how and policy initiatives enabling farmers and the industry to flourish. Founded in 1964 by farmers to serve farmers, ISA is governed by a board of 22 farmers to advocate on behalf of the state’s 40,000 soybean producers, including more than 15,000 ISA farmer members and industry stakeholders.