Solfuels USA begins loading railcars, trucks with biodiesel

By Ron Kotrba | September 22, 2017

Solfuels USA LLC, a newly retrofitted 40 MMgy biodiesel plant in Helena, Arkansas, formerly owned by Delta American Fuel LLC, is now making commercial sales of biodiesel. In June, the plant began trial production after two Singapore-based companies, Agritrade Resources Ltd. and Solfuels Holdings Pte Ltd., acquired the idled facility in December and retooled it to process multiple feedstocks.

In September, Solfuels USA made its first sale of truck and railcar loads of biodiesel to oil and gas customers. “We understand the railcars currently loading will go to Phoenix,” CEO Henri Bardon said. “This customer of ours is a large trader of oil and gas products located in Colorado.”

Also in September, Solfuels USA discharged its first barge of soybean oil at the Griffin River Terminal that services the plant. “We have been getting trucks of soybean oil from crushers in Mississippi by truck,” Bardon told Biodiesel Magazine. “We had to wait for Coast Guard approval to get our first barge.” Solfuels USA can process soybean oil, poutry fats and waste oils into on-spec biodiesel. 

Bardon said the plant expects to achieve maximum capacity production late this year. “We are at 40 percent of capacity right now as we are still ramping up,” he said. “We think by mid-October, we should reach 60 percent. This has more to do with software than hardware—we are still training personnel and finding the right shift system.”

Solfuels USA will be audited by Weaver in October for the third quarter, according to Bardon, and it should be Q-RIN-certified by November.

“We are also implementing BQ-9000, but this process is a bit longer,” added Bardon. “We should be certified sometime in the first quarter of next year.”  

The biodiesel production facility was retrofitted with help from engineering partner Frazier, Barnes & Associates and construction contractor Process Systems Inc.

The Solfuels USA team consists of 16 employees in Helena and four in Memphis at the company’s commercial sales office.

“We are very grateful for all the support we have received from the community of Helena,” Bardon said, adding that the biodiesel plant is a proud sponsor of the King Biscuit Blues Festival taking place in Helena Oct. 4-7.

 

 
 
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