Large biodiesel plants popping up in several states

| 9/7/2006

A $70 million biodiesel plant in Iowa should take about a year to construct, according to the partnership of companies building it.

East Fork Biodiesel of Algona, IA, and Renewable Energy Group of Ralston, IA, broke ground Tuesday on the plant in Algona, which will eventually produce 60 million gallons per year.

The soon-to-be largest biodiesel plant in the state will convert soybean oil, animal fats and other oils into commercial biofuel.

The plant will employ 25 people, produce biodiesel around the clock, recycle its water and recover methanol for other uses, according to a press release.

Eastfork, the principal interest in the plant, forecasts its annual biodiesel sales at $144.6 million, according to the press release.

Renewable Energy Group, which includes the former West Central Soy, is also a producer of pure, B100 biodiesel.

Biodiesel plants are sprouting up in other areas, too.

Later this year in Memphis, TN, GS Agrifuels plans to begin construction on a plant that will eventually have 45 million gallons of annual capacity and employ 50 people, according to the Memphis Business Journal.

GS Agrifuels will produce the brand Mean Green Biofuels at an initial capacity of 10 million gallons of biodiesel and 5 million gallons of ethanol per year.

The New York-based company received a nine-year tax abatement from the city’s industrial development board to build the plant, which could be operation in 2007, the Business Journal reported.

Beatrice Biodiesel broke ground Aug. 28 on a $52.5 million biodiesel plant at Gage County Industrial Park near Beatrice, NE. The plant will primarily use soy products to produce fuel and will be the state’s largest biodiesel producer.

The Nebraska plant will employ 21 people and produce 50 million gallons of biodiesel and five million gallons of glycerin per year, the Beatrice Daily Sun reported.

A plant currently under construction in Scribner, NE, is expected to be operational later this year, according to the Daily Sun.