Natural Chem acquires Abengoa plant in Portales, New Mexico

By Natural Chem Group LLC | November 15, 2016

Houston-based Natural Chem Group LLC recently announced that the company has acquired the mothballed Abengoa ethanol plant in Portales, New Mexico. The plant was acquired through a competitive bidding process.

NCG plans to redevelop the facility into an Eco-Fuels Blend Terminal, capable of producing 4.5 million gallons of B20 biodiesel per month. The company will blend diesel with biodiesel to produce varying blends of commercial transportation fuel, primarily a 20 percent biodiesel blend (B20) which is the industry standard.

The state of New Mexico has mandated that all diesel fuel to be at least a 5 percent biodiesel blend (B5). That mandate has been waived for several years because there are few local blending operations. NCG’s Portales blending facility will be able to help implement that target. Primary customers for NCG’s fuels are regional fleets and trucking operations, especially those serving the dairy and mining industries.

“We look forward to beginning plant operations, creating jobs, providing revenue and boosting the local economy,” said Robert J. Salazar, president and CEO of Natural Chem. “We envision multiple uses for our Portales facility involving renewable fuels and natural chemicals,” Salazar added.

Natural Chem estimates future operations could create 35 new jobs. NCG will also pay an outstanding tax bill that is owed to Roosevelt County by the previous owners.

“We believe this will be a positive addition to Portales and the regional economy and help sustain the biofuels industry nationally,” said Salazar.

“Natural Chem have answered all of our questions and concerns,” said Randy Knudson, Portales City Attorney, “we will look forward to Natural Chem commencing operations in the city of Portales.”

NCG acquired the property through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis. The sale was approved after Abengoa Bioenergy, a Spanish renewable energy firm, filed for Chapter 11 protection earlier this year.

Built in 1984, operations at the plant were suspended in 2012. It is located in the Portales Industrial Park and was New Mexico’s only commercial-scale ethanol plant.

Natural Chem was assisted in its acquisition of the Abengoa Portales Plant by the Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck law firm's Albuquerque and Denver offices. Financing was provided by Southwest Capital Bank and Natural Chem Holdings LLC.