The Phillips 66 plant in Rodeo has been processing crude oil for years, but the refinery is about to change gears in a major way.
"We’ll be processing more than 800 million gallons per year of renewable transportation fuels,” said Nik Weinberg-Lynn from Phillips 66.
The company announced Wednesday morning they plan to transform the Rodeo refinery into the largest renewable energy plant in the world, turning used cooking oil, grease and fats into clean burning diesel, jet fuel and gasoline.
“Your used cooking oil might in three to four years might turn into your diesel fuel which is a pretty cool lifestyle,” said Weinberg-Lynn.
The company applied for a land use permit Wednesday morning, saying the Contra Costa County site is the ideal location.
The refinery already has some of the necessary equipment and they can easily bring in the raw used oils by ship or train.
“Getting that amount of fats, vegetable oils, used cooking oils getting that all in here to make that amount of transportation fuels,” said Weinberg-Lynn. “That takes access to the world market”
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District says the shift could make a big difference in the air we breathe and they’re encouraged.
“Transportation is our number one source of pollution here in the Bay Area,” said Kristine Roselius from Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “We’ve been working to help refineries shift to green fuels for some time so this is a beginning."
Right now, renewable Diesel is available at seven Bay Area Union 76 stations, but Philips has to import it.
“That renewable fuel is produced internationally. It's from Singapore, Europe so far as to be able to make that cleaner burning fuel right here in Contra Costa County I think is great news,” said Weinberg-Lynn.
The company will continue producing crude oil until they can transition to an all-green operation. They hope in early 2024.
For more information on the upcoming changes, click here.