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Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds (center) join Renewable Energy Group leaders to break ground on the expansion project that will increase REG Ralston's nameplate capacity to 30 million gallons. (Photo: Business Wire)Renewable Energy Group (NASDAQ: REGI) held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday to formally launch a $24 million expansion of its Ralston, IA biorefinery from 12 million to 30 million gallons of annual nameplate production capacity. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds were the featured guests at the event attended by several business leaders and elected officials. "REG Ralston has been an efficient biorefinery with an ample supply of lower cost, lower carbon intensity feedstock next door connected by a pipe, and the original nameplate capacity was tied to the output of soybean oil from the adjacent crush," said Daniel J. Oh, President. "This expansion matches the greater output volume from the newly expanded soy crush at Landus Cooperative." In addition to the capacity expansion, the project will include logistics improvements and other site enhancements. Up to $20 million in long-term debt financing is expected to be provided for this project. "The decision by Landus Cooperative to expand their soy crush facility presented REG with an excellent, efficient opportunity," said Brad Albin, Vice President, Manufacturing. "With a greater, adjacent feedstock supply and our history of continuous improvements, this capacity expansion is a logical investment." Branstad recalled the history behind the Ralston facility. "I was here in the 1990's when biodiesel was just a dream," he said. "I am honored to participate in the expansion of Iowa's first continuous flow biodiesel plant. REG has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to investing in Iowa and building a future for this state in home grown, advanced biofuel."