FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY, US — Continental Refining Co. (CRC) on Dec. 21 broke ground on a new soybean crushing, biodiesel refining and blending facility in Somerset, Kentucky, US.

CRC first announced plans to invest $26.8 million in the project in April. The new facility will be located on CRC’s existing 77-acre site and will provide products that include soy meal, soy oil, soy hulls, biodiesel, ultra-low sulfur diesel, crude glycerin and gasoline.

Soybean processing is expected to begin in early 2022, with the operation’s new fuels terminal established by next summer. Once operational, CRC said the facility is expected to process nearly 84,000 tons of soybeans per year and generate up to 5 million gallons of biofuel annually.

CRC received a $1.7 million-plus grant from the US Department of Agriculture in support of the project through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program.

“We are excited for this next chapter for CRC,” said Kris Gibson, general manager and vice president of operations at CRC. “The ability to produce biofuels and soy-based products in Somerset will open new markets while providing farmers, CRC’s customers, vendors, investors and the community a solid agritech business opportunity that provides a positive economic impact for the entire region.”