San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced a proposed agreement between the Port of San Francisco and Darling International to build a 7.5 million to 10 million annual gallon capacity biodiesel production facility near Pier 92 in the Port’s Southern Waterfront. This would allow for the nation’s first local processing of recycled fats, greases and tallow to biodiesel in an urban setting. The fuel will be used by vehicles.
“Today, we are taking a major step in closing another recycling loop in San Francisco by turning waste generated locally by restaurants and other businesses into a sustainable fuel source,” said Mayor Newsom. “Biodiesel has reduced air emissions compared to traditional diesel and helped us lessen our city’s carbon footprint. Producing biofuels locally makes the environmental equation even better.”
Darling International has operated a rendering facility on Port property since 1966 and is the Port’s largest maritime exporter. Rendering involves processing food industry by-products into fat (tallow) and solids (meat and bone meal). Subject to Port Commission approval, Darling plans to upgrade its Port facilities to convert fats already produced at the facility into high quality biodiesel for use in vehicles. In addition, Darling plans to make site beautification and other environmental improvements.
Darling International Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randall Stuewe said, “We are very pleased to be working with both the City and the Port of San Francisco on the proposed agreement to build a facility at the Port to convert used cooking oil from restaurants in the City of San Francisco into biodiesel.”
The City and County of San Francisco’s entire diesel fleet currently operates on biodiesel fuel. This transfer to biodiesel was achieved through a Mayoral Executive Order, which required 100% of fleets to use B20 biodiesel, a blend of 80% petroleum diesel and 20% biodiesel, by December 31, 2007, for the City’s 1,500 diesel vehicles. It also calls for the using biodiesel with higher biocontent as technology evolves.
Port Commission President Kim Brandon praised the proposal. “Darling is a long-time Port maritime tenant. They are an excellent employer committed to operating a clean industrial facility and recruiting for new job openings from the surrounding community.”
The Port Commission unanimously approved the agreement on Tuesday, September 9, 2008.