Business Briefs

By Biodiesel Magazine | May 24, 2018

World Energy LLC closed on the purchase from Delek US Holdings Inc. of its interests in renewable jet and diesel producer AltAir Paramount LLC, its Paramount Petroleum LLC refinery assets, both co-located in Paramount, California, as well as an adjacent tank farm and most of Delek’s California pipeline assets. The purchase includes a 63-acre complex consisting of a 45 MMgy renewable jet and diesel fuel production facility, 1.7 million barrels of product storage, a truck rack with 28,000 barrels per day of throughput capacity, rail storage for up to 70 railcars, and pipelines stretching over 71 miles connecting the facility to major southern California distribution hubs including Long Beach.

Bridgeport Biodiesel in Connecticut has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The biodiesel refinery was engineered as a 13 MMgy continuous flow plant and built next door to the original, smaller batch facility in Bridgeport. CEO Brent Baker said the financial woes are related to the process technology installed at the facility, including the inability to successfully operate the solid catalyst esterification system developed and patented by Lutros LLC. Mark Mauss, CEO of Lutros, said Bridgeport Biodiesel’s struggles were more equipment-related than technology based. Baker said he hopes someone invests in, acquires or merges with Bridgeport Biodiesel and reopens the plant.

A new food safety program has been developed by the Iowa Biodiesel Board to help biodiesel producers comply with the U.S. government’s Food Safety Modernization Act. FSMA compliance is necessary for biodiesel producers whose glycerin may end up in the food or feed supply downstream. September is FSMA’s Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls deadline for companies with less than 500 full-time employees. Working with Degart Global, a committee of biodiesel producers, ingredient marketers and food safety experts developed the program. It consists of information, materials and the opportunity for consulting. The one-time cost ranges from $3,000 to $6,000, and a one-day, off-site desk review of the plant’s documents or two-day, on-site implementation assistance are available for additional fees.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. announced plans to temporarily cease production of biodiesel at its 275,000-ton-per-year facility in Mainz, Germany, as a result of increased biodiesel imports into the EU. “The standstill is expected to last at least the duration of quarter two, and will be reviewed during quarter three,” the company stated. “Since September, the European Union has seen an influx of imported biodiesel, which has placed significant pressure on the local market, impacting profitability for European-based producers. With continued imports and increasingly poor margins, the company has taken the difficult decision to cut back production in the region.” ADM first announced plans to build the Mainz biodiesel plant—the company’s third German biodiesel manufacturing facility—in 2005.

Bob Riley Jr., chairman of the board and founder of Feed Energy, CEO of the Riley Resource Group and owner of Corn Oil One, has been awarded the 2018 Cultivation Corridor Iowa Biotech Leadership Award. The award recognizes an individual who in the past year has demonstrated leadership, innovation, advocacy and commitment to advancing Iowa’s biotechnology industry. Riley received the award March 20 at an Ankeny reception as part of the Partnering for Growth Biotech Innovation Showcase and Forum. A Des Moines native, Riley has worked for more than 40 years in the fats and oil processing industry in many capacities. Corn Oil One is a startup company within the Riley Resource Group that is bringing new technologies and products to market to add value to the biofuels, life sciences, oleochemicals and feed industries.

Biodiesel technology developer Benefuel Inc. is exploring construction of a 20 MMgy biodiesel plant in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. With an investment from Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, Benefuel is working to complete engineering before breaking ground by end of year, said Rob Tripp, CEO of Benefuel. One of Benefuel’s largest investors, Suncor Energy, operates an ethanol facility and a petroleum refinery in Sarnia, which may provide distillers corn oil feedstock from ethanol production and could utilize the finished product in its established distribution channels as a compliance tool. Benefuel’s solid acid Ensel technology has been demonstrated for nearly two years at a 50 MMgy biodiesel plant in Beatrice, Nebraska. The new 20 MMgy will employ Ensel technology but will be designed on a modular basis. Tripp said he anticipates the plant to be operational by 2020.

At the California Advanced Biofuel Alliance annual conference on March 1, the National Biodiesel Board honored Celia DuBose, a founding member and longtime executive director of the California Biodiesel Alliance, with the Climate Leader Award. DuBose played a key role in grassroots biodiesel development efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been a leader and trusted resource on biodiesel technical and policy issues in California for more than a decade. Her leadership played a vital role in making California the largest biodiesel market in the nation. She is a pioneer on both biodiesel and environmental issues. As the group’s longstanding executive director, DuBose oversaw the organization’s recent expansion into representation of other renewable diesel replacement fuels and rebranding as the California Advanced Biofuels Alliance. DuBose is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

California regulators have certified CATANOX, a NOx-mitigating biodiesel additive developed by biofuels marketer Targray to help meet the latest requirements of the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. In an executive order published Feb. 22, the California Air Resources Board stated the additive had been tested in accordance with the Alternative Diesel Fuel regulation and demonstrated NOx emissions equivalent to standard diesel, as well as particulate matter emission reductions of more than 20 percent when compared to the benchmark CARB diesel. Targray, one of the largest biofuels marketers and distributors in California, is now the second company in the state to offer a CARB-certified NOx mitigation solution for biodiesel blenders. In March, Targray began offering its CATANOX additive as part of a fully blended, B20-ready turnkey solution at five fuel terminal locations in California.

Biodiesel technology and engineering firm BDI-BioEnergy International officially broke ground Jan. 26 on its new algae biomass production plant at Hartberg Ecopark in the Austrian state of Styria. The company has been researching algae production for years and developed its proprietary algae reactor system under its wholly owned subsidiary, BDI-BioLife Science GmbH, which will own and operate the plant as a raw material producer of algae for the food supplements, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Edgar Ahn, a member of the management board, said the annual capacity of the new plant will be 15 tons of algae biomass per year. In its 22nd year of business, BDI-BioEnergy International and its subsidiaries employ 110 people and is a market leader in various biodiesel technologies specializing in waste to value.

Pennsylvania-based biodiesel producer Lake Erie Biofuels LLC, doing business as Hero BX, has formed a strategic partnership with Iowa Renewable Energy LLC based in Washington, Iowa, to manufacture and market biodiesel from IRE’s 30 MMgy Iowa facility. With more than a decade of successful biodiesel production and marketing expertise behind it, Hero BX will apply its established business model to help capitalize on the new venture. Ron Lutovsky, IRE’s chief operating officer, said, “Iowa Renewable Energy is thrilled to be partnering with Hero BX and joining its growing national network of biodiesel supply and distribution.”

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