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Koch Industries' oil subsidiary ramps up Nebraska biodiesel plant

NEW YORK, Sept 13 Flint Hills Resources is bringing online the Nebraska biodiesel plant it bought out of bankruptcy in 2011, marking the Koch Industries Inc subsidiary's first commercial production of the renewable fuel made of vegetable oil.

Flint Hills, the oil and biofuels unit of Koch Industries, is ramping up the 50-million gallon-per-year biodiesel plant for the first time and expects to have it pumping fuel at full capacity in the next several months, a spokeswoman for the company said on Tuesday.

The Beatrice, Nebraska, facility is a relatively large one in a nearly 2-billion gallon-per-year industry that has begun to recover and boost production so far in 2016, after struggling with policy uncertainty and low crude oil prices.

The plant was originally built in 2008 but never completed.

Its new technology will boost "cost competitiveness" of the product, said Flint Hills Resources Biofuels and Ingredients vice president Jeremy Bezdek in a statement.

The U.S. biodiesel industry has been pumping out an increasing amount of the fuel this year, government data show.

Flint Hills made its first foray into the biofuels industry by scooping up an ethanol plant in 2010. It now owns seven, a spokeswoman for the company said.

Oil companies have been building their footprint in the biofuels industry in a bid to meet annual government mandates requiring renewable fuels be blended with gasoline and diesel. (Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Chris Reese)

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