Big Oil Gets Into Biodiesel

John Davis

Chevron logo In what might seem like a bit of an ironic twist, oil giant Chevron is getting into the biodiesel business. The California-based company has a 22% share of a 20-million-gallon-a-year biodiesel refinery set to open next month in oil-central Galveston. The Houston Chronicle reports the plant will be one of the largest in the country and marks a change in attitude for at least one major player in the oil industry:

“Over the last couple of years, our company has come to the point of view that there is more global demand for energy coming than we know how to meet the way we’ve always done things,” Rick Zalesky, Chevron’s vice president of biofuels and hydrogen, said during a recent tour of the Galveston plant. “So oil and gas will continue to be the major source, but is that enough? And we’ve concluded no.”

CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, Joe Jobe, says this is a good thing and is a win-win situation for Chevron and the biodiesel industry. Chevron gets a foothold in the growing biodiesel market, and biodiesel makers get the technology and experience of a major refiner.