Hemisphere Ltd., the parent company of Continental Refining Co., announced that it is exploring plans to invest an additional $25 million to acquire, relocate and install a soybean crushing, biodiesel refining and blending facility at the current CRC oil refinery in Somerset, Kentucky. The ability to produce biofuels and soy-based products in Somerset would open new markets while providing farmers, CRC’s customers, vendors, investors and the community a solid AgriTech business opportunity that provides a positive economic impact for the entire region.
Local entrepreneur and Hemisphere Limited CEO Demetrios Haseotes purchased the refinery in 2011, investing over $40 million updating and improving the facility’s crude oil refining capabilities. Although he has been known as an oil man for the last several decades, agriculture is the root of his family’s business empire and runs deep in Haseotes’ blood. He was raised on the family’s Rhode Island dairy farm that grew to become the Massachusetts-based Cumberland Farms convenience store chain with 1,000 sites in eight states. The family also owned the Gulf Oil brand and distributed petroleum products. While those businesses were sold in recent years, Haseotes started Midland Farms in 2002, now a large New York-based fluid dairy processor. He moved to Pulaski County in 2012. Haseotes may soon shift his focus to soybeans as the future of diesel energy production and additives at his Continental refinery.