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Darling Ingredients expects 20% growth in 2023

(Reuters) - Renewable fuel producer Darling Ingredients Inc expects 20% growth for the company in 2023, the chief executive said this week, as governments worldwide push for energy solutions to lower carbon emissions.

Darling, one of the world's largest producers of animal fat-based hydrocarbons, is maintaining guidance for company growth in 2022, Chief Executive Randall Stuewe said during a Goldman Sachs energy conference. The company has recently started up its Diamond Green Diesel III plant in Port Arthur, Texas, to produce renewable diesel in partnership with Valero Energy Corp.

Renewable diesel, which can be made from used cooking oil and animal fat, has been a growing market in the sustainable energy landscape over the last few years, along with fuels such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), used to power aircrafts.

SAF is "very close" to being viable at current economics, Stuewe said. Historically, SAF has been much more expensive to produce versus petroleum-based jet fuel.

Stuewe added that the Environmental Protection Agency, in its latest decision on biofuel blending mandates signaled that EPA wants to see SAF production growth.

In an effort to fight climate change, President Joe Biden's administration has launched a government challenge to supply at least 3 billion gallons of SAF per year by 2030. The airline sector is considered one of the most difficult to decarbonize as fuel for flights cannot be easily replaced with other kinds of power.

(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)

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