SOUTH BEND, INDIANA, US — Verbio has started converting its South Bend, Indiana, US, ethanol plant into an integrated biorefinery.

The facility will produce renewable natural gas (RNG) and ethanol using an innovative production approach. The company, a subsidiary of European biofuels and bioenergy producer Verbio SE, received approval for its expansion proposal in April. Following the application of the Verbio technology and commissioning, Verbio targets a production capacity of at least 85 million gallons of corn ethanol and 2.8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of RNG annually.

“We look forward to creating meaningful employment opportunities for the citizens of South Bend and the surrounding area as the company expands its renewable energy footprint in the Midwest,” said Claus Sauter, Verbio chief executive officer.

In this first phase of the upgrade, Verbio will build foundations for eight new anaerobic digester tanks. Major construction for the second phase includes an additional eight digesters, related piping and wiring, the construction of several new buildings and the addition of miscellaneous process equipment.

The RNG produced at Verbio South Bend will be fed to the regional natural gas grid and support the needs of industrial and commercial uses. Verbio acquired the plant in May 2023 from Mercuria Investments and announced an estimated total investment plan of $230 million.

Commercial production of RNG is expected to begin in 2026.