Iowa Renewable Energy starts construction

By | August 01, 2006
Gaining momentum with a significant number of projects over the past year, Renewable Energy Group (REG) of Ralston, Iowa, is building another biodiesel refinery near Washington, Iowa.

In mid-June, Iowa Renewable Energy LLC broke ground on the 30 MMgy facility, which will utilize soybean oil and animal fat as feedstocks. While founding partner West Central, also of Ralston, often has a stake in the biodiesel facilities REG builds, Iowa Renewable Energy is owned mostly by a group of local investors, said Bill Raney, sales and marketing manager for REG. A representative of Iowa Renewable Energy was not reached by press time.

Iowa Renewable Energy will be the fourth 30 MMgy facility that REG has built; it is expected to start up next July, Lappe told Biodiesel Magazine.

"When it's up and operating, it will put us at about 132 MMgy of production capacity," Lappe said, referring to the amount of estimated product that will be sold by REG when its projects become fully functional. West Central, a founding partner of REG, markets biodiesel under the brand name Soy Power, which the company claims represents 45 percent of all the biodiesel sold in the United States.

According to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), the state has 11 biodiesel refineries with a combined annual capacity of nearly 200 MMgy either in operation or under construction. "Iowa is quickly becoming the leader in biodiesel production," said Monte Shaw, executive director of the IRFA. "Large, new-generation biodiesel facilities like Iowa Renewable Energy are changing the face of the industry."
 
 
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