SoyMor poised to trigger mandate

By | July 01, 2005
The Minnesota 2 percent biodiesel mandate is one step closer to reality. SoyMor, a 25 mmgy nameplate biodiesel facility located near Glenville, Minn., is expected to begin production in mid-July, according to Jim Blair, SoyMor chief financial officer and project manager. Eight mmgy of in-state biodiesel production is needed to trigger the mandate.

A grand opening for the plant was held June 14. Approximately 900 people, including Minnesota Lieutenant Gov. Carol Molnau, attended the event, which included plant tours. "It was a good opportunity for investors to kick the tires of their investment," Blair said.
SoyMor broke ground in September 2004. Renewable Energy Group built the facility. Blair said a relatively mild Minnesota winter helped keep construction on track. "I think our great accomplishment was we raised our funds prior to passage of the JOBS bill," Blair said.
The plant has a process guarantee of 25 mmgy, but Blair believes it will produce in excess of 30 mmgy. West Central will market the plant's biodiesel, which will primarily be produced from soy oil.

This will be the first county in the United States with a commercial-scale biodiesel and ethanol plant, according to Blair. EXOL, a 38 mmgy ethanol plant less than a quarter mile from SoyMor, developed an industrial park. SoyMor is the first tenant in the park. Blair said infrastructure such as wastewater lines, natural gas and electrical service was already installed. A Union Pacific rail line is also located at the site.

SoyMor will trigger the mandate following engineering and fuel quality validation. Blair said the plant would then be placed on the state register for 30 days before the mandate takes effect. Redwood Falls, Minn.-based FUMPA Biofuels is currently producing 3 mmgy. The mandate is expected to create a 16 mmgy to 18 mmgy market in the state.
"We're excited about that," Blair said. "Minnesota is a leader in the country when it comes to renewable fuels."
 
 
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