Rentech head speaks to Rotary

Published 11:38 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2007

NATCHEZ — Joe Regnery spoke to the Natchez Rotary Club on Wednesday in an effort to inform community leaders of Rentech’s intentions in Adams County.

Regnery spoke on several topics from river accessibility to environmental protection measures.

Regnery started his presentation with a brief description of what Rentech does.

Email newsletter signup

Regnery said Rentech makes more that just diesel. In their refining process Rentech also makes paraffin wax and products that go into detergents in addition to jet fuel and diesel.

But the diesel that Rentech makes is what Regnery called “ultra high purity.”

Rentech is refining their diesel in a way that removes many impurities but mainly eliminates sulfur.

Rentech’s diesel contains less than one part per million of sulfur. Regnery said this is well below most diesel available.

The result is a more environmentally friendly fuel.

And Regnery made a point to stress Rentech’s environmentally conscience policies.

Foremost among them is the Rentech carbon dioxide recycle program.

Denbury Resources has committed to purchase all of Rentech’s carbon dioxide.

Denbury is currently completing a facility on the Cranfield oil field. Denbury will be using Rentech’s carbon dioxide in their oil recovery venture at Cranfield.

Regnery was also quick to point out that cooperation with Denbury offered even more incentive for Rentech to locate in Adams County.

Another incentive for Rentech included easy access to the Mississippi River. Regnery said river access is critical for their operation, because incoming raw material and finished product can both be shipped by barge on the Mississippi.

And what exactly Rentech will be shipping out will be dictated by the marketplace.

“A candle costs more to produce than gasoline,” he said.

So if paraffin is in particularly high demand Rentech will make paraffin, if not Rentech could easily make something else.

The construction phase is set to begin in 2009 will employ 1,200 to 1,500 workers. Once the plant is open, likely in 2012, Regnery said they will have a minimum of 250 full-time jobs with most salaries around $45,000 per year plus benefits.