Cargill, ADM biodiesel projects moving forward in Missouri

By Dave Nilles | September 01, 2006
Despite hosting the National Biodiesel Board's (NBB) headquarters, Missouri hasn't been much of a biodiesel producer. That is about to change soon.

A large-scale biodiesel project partially owned by Cargill Inc. is about to start construction as a second project nears start-up in the state. The construction process is nearly finished on Mid-America Biofuels LLC, a 30 MMgy plant in Mexico, Mo., according to J.P. Dunn of the Missouri Soybean Association. A grand opening is set for Oct. 24 with initial production slated for mid-November, he said.

Mid-America Biofuels is a joint venture of Biofuels LLC, a farmer-owned biodiesel business based in Jefferson City, Mo., Ray-Carroll County Grain Growers, MFA Oil Company and Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM). Jefferson City is also home to the NBB.

The project, which began construction in October 2005, marks the first time ADM has dipped into U.S. biodiesel production. The agri-business company owns an interest in the plant, which will use soy oil as feedstock. ADM has extensive biodiesel operations in Europe and is building an 85 MMgy canola-based biodiesel plant in Velva, N.D. The project is expected to start-up by April 2007.

The Mexico plant will be the state's largest, at least until Cargill's plant comes on line. Cargill's 40 MMgy facility, which is majority owned by farmers, is expected to begin construction later this month in Kansas City, according to Dunn. The project, which was announced earlier this year, includes a 30 million-pound food-grade glycerin refinery and will be built adjacent to Cargill's soy processing plant. The project will be jointly owned by Cargill and Paseo Biofuels LLC, a new entity formed by Missouri soybean farmers and the Missouri Soybean Association.

Cargill owns 47 percent of the project while Paseo Biofuels owns the remaining 53 percent, Dunn said. Minneapolis-based Cargill will be the primary biodiesel marketer for the plant, which is expected to take 11 months to complete. Lurgi PSI is slated to build the facility.

The Kansas City project will be similar to Cargill's 37.5 MMgy biodiesel plant in Iowa Falls, Iowa. That project also features a glycerin refinery.

Missouri has small-scale biodiesel operations in Bunceton and Bethel that produce approximately 6 MMgy.

Dave Nilles is Online Editor for Biodiesel Magazine. Reach him at or (701) 373-0636.

Posted: 3:40 p.m. CDT Wednesday, October 11, 2006
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