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Advanced Refining Concepts doubling its refinery at TRIC

JOHN SEELMEYER

Advanced Refining Concepts LLC of Reno last week began construction on a project to double the capacity of its refinery at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center nine miles east of Sparks.

The company uses a patented process to combine natural gas (or other biogases) with a petroleum base to create liquid fuels for vehicles, aircraft or industrial applications.

The $7.5 million expansion project that began last week will bring production from the refinery to 400,000 gallons of diesel fuel per day.

Peter Gunnerman, co-founder and director of Advanced Refining Concepts, said the company has sold more than 22 million gallons of the diesel fuel, which it dubs “GDiesel,” since the refinery began operation in 2010.

F&P Construction of Reno is general contractor on the refinery expansion job. It began site work last week. Assuming that winter weather arrives sufficiently late to allow for installation of pads in coming weeks, the expansion is expected to be finished in late April.

The fuel can be stored and dispensed through existing systems without need for modification, and Advanced Refining Concepts sells it to large fleet users and well as consumers who buy the fuel at a handful of retail and cardlock locations around northern Nevada.

The product is designated as an alternative diesel fuel under state law, and that’s opened the door to its use by city and county vehicle fleets in Nevada.

Advanced Refining Concepts also is in the permitting process to build a refinery at Las Vegas.

Clark County contracted a year ago to purchase 1 million gallons of GDiesel annually, and Advanced Refining expects to open additional markets in Arizona and southern Nevada.

The privately held company is financing the refinery expansion in northern Nevada largely from its own revenues. Earlier this year, the company said it had invested $24 million since 2008 in research and construction of its first refinery capacity.

Gunnerman said the company expects the expansion will add about 100 jobs, both in construction as well as ongoing fuel transportation.

The refinery currently employs 15.