2008 Proposed Biodiesel Plant List

Biodiesel Magazine presents its annual roundup of proposed plants from across the United States and Canada. This year's list includes 26 plants somewhere between concept and construction. This number is lower than in past years, reiterating a slowdown in projected growth but also confirming continued interest in the industry's potential.
By Craig A. Johnson, Timothy Charles Holmseth, Erin Vogele, Anna Austin, Suzanne H. Schmidt and Ryan C. | August 08, 2008
Each year, a select editorial team at Biodiesel Magazine produces the most comprehensive list of proposed plants in the biodiesel industry. This has always been a challenge, even more so in 2008. Finding investors and entrepreneurs bold enough to forge ahead in the current biodiesel market is a labor-intensive process.

The criteria for inclusion in the proposed plant list is simple. Any project with the intent to build a biodiesel plant is included as long as a reliable source was able to verify the project's status. After attempting to contact more than 160 proposed projects in our database, the editorial team confirmed 26 projects. For an industry that's seen soaring feedstock prices, dried-up lending sources and a well-funded campaign to tie biofuels to every one of the world's ills, it may surprise some readers that anyone would want to join such an industry. Yet, these projects continue to move ahead.

In 2005, when Biodiesel Magazine first published a list of proposed biodiesel projects, 36 projects were verified. As the industry grew, the proposed list nearly doubled to 65 projects in 2006. In 2007, the escalation continued with 94 projects anticipating building in the near future. At the same time, the monthly plant construction list was swelling with projects.

In 2005, the first plant construction list included 17 plants. The average increased to 31 plants under construction in 2006 and rose to 48 in 2007. The highest one-month tally was 58 in April 2007. Thus far in 2008, the plant construction list has contained an average of 19 plants (see page 32). As this number trends downward (there were only 10 plants on the list in the August issue), the average for 2008 will likely be closer to 13 or 14 plants under construction in an average month.

With the sharp increase in soy oil prices over the past year, it isn't surprising that many proposed plants are planning to process multiple feedstocks. Only five of the 26 total projects intended to use soy oil, and the same statistic applied to animal fats and other oilseeds. Only two projects on this list intend to use algae, although several indicated interest in the technology.

In preparing this list, Biodiesel Magazine asked respondents additional questions to get a sense of what the future of the biodiesel industry may hold. Of the 26 plants that were confirmed, 21 (80 percent) provided responses to these questions. When asked whether cost or proximity to the source influenced their choice of feedstocks, two-thirds of respondents said cost was their primary concern. Only one respondent said it wasn't as much of a concern as proximity. Biodiesel Magazine also asked respondents how harsh they felt the lending environment was for a new biodiesel plant to attain funding. On a scale of one to five, with five being hardest, our respondents' answers averaged 4.7. The lending situation is "overwhelmingly negative," one respondent said. Roughly half of the respondents said that once their plants were operational, biodiesel marketing would be handled in-house or through a strategic partnership. This number corresponded with a company's intended staffing requirements. The more employees that a company expected to hire, the more likely they were to be using an outside marketer or a combination of in-house marketing and partnerships. Many of the smaller plants expected to handle marketing in-house.

Looking ahead, the plants on this list represent companies, investors and entrepreneurs from across North America. Unlike some lists in the past, Biodiesel Magazine found activity in every region of the United States. The North Central-East region holds the most interest, demonstrated by eight proposed plants listed here. That's twice as many as the next two largest regions: New England and the North Central-West. As demand for alternatives to expensive home heating oil increases in New England, interest in biodiesel production may continue to be strong in that region.

As always, this list isn't meant to be all-encompassing. Rather, this is a snapshot of a dynamic industry on one point of its trajectory. By next year, the outlook may change, and the number of proposed projects may increase. One piece of legislation or a drop in soy oil prices could easily reshape the industry, and it's this elasticity that keeps the biodiesel outlook hopeful.

Pacific
Washington Biodiesel
Location: Warden, Washington
Target groundbreaking: 2011
Feedstock: canola oil
Capacity: undeclared
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: This company's immediate focus is to build a canola crushing facility. Financing is underway, and the crushing facility is expected to be
operational by 2010. "We are committed to adding biodiesel fuel refining facilities
at the Warden location when either additional biodiesel demand supports the
significant private investment needed to build the biodiesel facilities, or we are
able to sign longer-term biodiesel contracts that make such financing feasible,"
the company's Web site states.

Bio Friendly Fuel Partners LLC
Location: central California
Target groundbreaking: fourth quarter 2008
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 60 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: According to company President Eric Johnson, financing arrangements are nearly complete. Once a site is secured, the company intends to begin
construction.

Mountain
Optimum Biofuels LLC
Location: Coolidge, Arizona
Target groundbreaking: August 2008
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 30 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: According to company President Cash Kempton, construction will begin as soon as
permits are granted. In the meantime,
construction plans continue to be finalized.

North Central-West
Optimum Biofuels LLC
Location: Coolidge, Arizona
Target groundbreaking: August 2008
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 30 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: According to company President Cash Kempton, construction will begin as soon as
permits are granted. In the meantime,
construction plans continue to be finalized.

Möbius Biofuels LLC
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Target groundbreaking: early 2009
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 15 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: Company spokesman Robert Buscher Jr. says prices will be the determining factor as Möbius considers feedstock options. Soy oil will be the primary feedstock, but animal fats may also be used because of cost
concerns. The company intends to partner with Tenaska Inc. to market its products. It expects to employ more than 20 people to run the facility.

American Renewable Fuels Inc.
Location: Clovis, Minnesota
Target groundbreaking: September 2008
Feedstock: beef tallow
Capacity: 30 MMgy
Process technology: Energea Unwelttechnologie GmbH
Synopsis: Company spokesman Ross Garrity says the initial capacity of the plant was going to be 75 MMgy but was reduced to 30 MMgy. The company is attempting to raise funds through investors and lenders. Marketing will be handled by a separate company. The facility intends to hire approximately 40 employees.

Cetane Energy LLC
Location: Carlsbad, Minnesota
Target groundbreaking: January 2009
Feedstock: beef tallow
Capacity: 6 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: According to company spokesman Richard Aves, the company initially plans to use beef tallow as a feedstock but may use yellow grease, depending on
cost-effectiveness. This personally financed company plans to handle its marketing in-house and hire 10 employees upon completion of the facility.

South Central-West
Renewable Biofuels Inc.
Location: Port Neches, Texas
Target groundbreaking: August 2008
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: 180 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: The site has more than 6 million barrels of storage capacity, a deepwater port, rail and access to a major U.S. refined products pipeline, according to the company's Web site. Ninety percent of the plant's volume will be shipped by water vessel. The facility will consist of parallel twin 90 MMgy capacity trains. The first train will come on line in August using soy oil as a feedstock, and the second train will come on line in October and possibly use canola as a feedstock. The facility will utilize state-of-the-art technology that includes a continuous process and recovery system design, a pretreatment system, and a reactor system that accommodates a wide range of feedstocks. The biodiesel produced will meet ASTM D 6751 specifications.

North Central-East
Innovation Fuels
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Target groundbreaking: March 2009
Feedstock: animal fats/vegetable oils
Capacity: 50 MMgy
Process technology: Innovation Fuels
Synopsis: According to company President Hardy Sawall, the property at the Port of Milwaukee is under contract, and engineering work is underway. The company anticipates some preliminary site work during 2008.

America's Renewable Energy LLC
Location: Quincy, Illinois
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: 60 MMgy
Process technology: Crown Iron Works
Synopsis: Company spokesman Todd Ewing says plans are on hold until market conditions-mostly the lending environment-improve. Though the plant plans to use soy oil as a feedstock, Ewing says he feels algae will be the feedstock of the future biodiesel industry. The company is also
looking at creating additional revenue streams through its glycerin byproduct.

Blackhawk Biofuels
Location: Danville, Illinois
Target groundbreaking: April 2009
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: 45 MMgy
Process technology: Crown Iron Works
Synopsis: Company spokesman Ron Mates says initial plans to build a plant in Freeport, Ill., fell through when a lender backed out. The group of 600 investors
subsequently acquired an idle plant in Danville, which will be adjacent to a Bunge oilseed-crushing facility
slated to be operational by November. The biodiesel plant will employ 25 to 30 people once it's built.

Advanced Biodiesel Partners
Location: Southwest Detroit, Michigan
Target groundbreaking: spring 2009
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 15 MMgy to 20 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: Company President Jim Moran says that when the price of feedstocks began to rise, development of this project was put on hold. Instead, the company began researching processes to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. It now expects to be under
construction in 2009, assuming feedstock prices are more manageable at that time.

Indiana Clean Energy LLC
Location: Frankfort, Indiana
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 80 MMgy
Process technology: Safer Energy
Synopsis: Company spokesman Mark Bunner says this project is on hold due to financing concerns. If the
project continues, he says the location of the facility may move. It would likely remain in Indiana, but he couldn't say more, citing confidentiality concerns.

Raccoon Valley Biodiesel
Location: Storm Lake, Indiana
Target groundbreaking: 2009
Feedstock: algae
Capacity: 50 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: This company plans to use algae as a
feedstock, although spokesman Joe Sandor wouldn't disclose where the feedstock would come from.

Ultra Soy of America
Location: South Milford, Indiana
Target groundbreaking: fourth quarter 2008
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: 80 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: Owner and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pipenger says this facility will include a fully integrated soybean-crushing plant capable of producing food-grade oil. The biodiesel plant will process soy oil from
soybeans provided by regional producers and also process its glycerin byproduct. The facility will be built using the best available "green building technologies," Pipenger says. "We will also utilize wind power, solar power, geothermal power and cogeneration techniques for electric power." The site will be located on 126 acres with rail capabilities, and 185 people are expected to
be employed.

South Central-East
BioPower USA LLC
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Target groundbreaking: March 2009
Feedstock: algae
Capacity: 5 MMgy
Process technology: BioPower USA LLC
Synopsis: According to company President Mark Troupe, the project is scrambling to find feedstocks that are profitable. In the long term, he says the company expects the primary feedstock will be algae.

Middle Atlantic
Middletown Biofuels LLC
Location: Middletown, Pennsylvania
Target groundbreaking: fall 2008
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: 2.5 MMgy
Process technology: CG Inc.
Synopsis: According to Plant Manager Alan Legrand, this company is in the process of
switching feedstocks and looking for ways to increase production. One reason for the change in feedstock was cost concerns. All marketing will be conducted in-house with a limited amount of
third-party help. When operational, the plant will hire approximately 15 employees.

RPL Holdings Inc.
Location: Bayonne, New Jersey
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 60 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: According to Pat Albert, vice president of feedstock procurement and marketing, the plant will use vegetable oil or animal fats as feedstocks, depending on cost-effectiveness. The plant is receiving financing from investors and plans to market its own biodiesel with help from a separate company. Upon completion, 12 employees will be hired to run the facility.

Blackhawk Biofuels
Location: Danville, Illinois
Target groundbreaking: April 2009
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: 45 MMgy
Process technology: Crown Iron Works
Synopsis: Company spokesman Ron Mates said initial plans to build a plant in Freeport, Ill., fell through when a lender backed out. The group of 600 investors
subsequently acquired an idle plant in Danville, which will be adjacent to a Bunge oilseed crushing facility
slated to be operational by November. The biodiesel plant will employ 25 to 30 people once it's built.

Energy Recovery Group
Location: Illinois, Oregon or Texas
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: algae
Capacity: undeclared
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: Energy Recovery Group is looking at three possible locations for its algae oil technical development center, including sites in Illinois, Oregon and Texas. According to company President Mike Carpenter, the company plans to set up a technical development center that will build custom algae feedstock plantations for
customers.

Advanced Biodiesel Partners
Location: Southwest Detroit, Michigan
Target groundbreaking: spring 2009
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 15 MMgy to 20 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: Company President Jim Moran said that when the price of feedstocks began to rise, development of this project was put on hold. Instead, the company began researching processes to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. It now expects to be under
construction in 2009, assuming feedstock prices are more manageable at that time.

Indiana Clean Energy LLC
Location: Frankfort, Indiana
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 80 MMgy
Process technology: Safer Energy
Synopsis: Company spokesman Mark Bunner said this project is on hold at the present time due to financing concerns. If the project continues, he said it's likely the location of the facility will move. It would likely remain in Indiana, but he couldn't say more, citing confidentiality concerns.

Raccoon Valley Biodiesel
Location: Storm Lake, Indiana
Target groundbreaking: 2009
Feedstock: algae
Capacity: 50 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: Although this company plans to use algae as a feedstock, spokesman Joe Sandor wouldn't disclose where the feedstock would come from.

Ultra Soy of America
Location: South Milford, Indiana
Target groundbreaking: fourth quarter 2008
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: 80 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: Owner and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pipenger said the facility will include a fully integrated soybean-crushing plant capable of producing food-grade oil. The biodiesel plant will take in soybeans from
regional producers and also process its glycerin
byproduct. The facility will be built using the best
available "green building technologies," Pipenger said. "We will also utilize wind power, solar power, geothermal power and cogeneration techniques for electric power." The site will be located on 126 acres of land with rail capabilities, and 185 people are expected to be employed.

South Atlantic
Chesapeake Green Fuels
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 10 MMgy
Process technology: Chesapeake Green Fuels
Synopsis: According to co-owner Robert Butz, the
company is working to develop its proprietary process technology. Current economic conditions have affected the company's choice of feedstock.

New England
Unnamed
Location: Houlton, Maine
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: canola oil/soy oil
Capacity: 3 MMgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: The availability of raw materials has been a major consideration while selecting feedstocks, according to project consultant John Cancelarich. The facility is being funded by a combination of local banks.

Berkshire Biodiesel
Location: Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Target groundbreaking: early 2009
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 52 MMgy
Process technology: Hydro Dynamics
Synopsis: The company has finished the first phase of its engineering and is currently obtaining permits,
according to Lee Harrison, executive vice president.
It originally planned to use soybean oil as its main
feedstock but altered plans due to rising feedstock costs. Hydro Dynamics will be providing its Shockwave Power Reactor, and the plant will also use a waterless wash catalyst system.

Northeast Biodiesel Co. LLC
Location: Greenfield, Massachusetts
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: yellow grease
Capacity: 10 MMgy
Process technology: NextGen Fuel Inc.
Synopsis: The company intends to secure project
financing in 2008, according to Chairwoman Lynn Benander. Difficult lending conditions have
affected the company's time line.

Connecticut Biodiesel
Location: Suffield, Connecticut
Target groundbreaking: mid-2009
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 52 MMgy
Process technology: Hydro Dynamics
Synopsis: This facility first planned to use primarily soy oil as a feedstock but now expects to use other
feedstocks in light of rising soy oil prices, according to Executive Vice President Lee Harrison. The company has found the lending environment for biodiesel to be
difficult, but it continues to obtain funding through a
combination of lenders and investors. Hydro Dynamics will be providing its Shockwave Power Reactor, and the plant will also use a waterless wash catalyst system.

Canada
Biostreet Canada Inc.
Location: Vegreville, Alberta
Target groundbreaking: May 2009
Feedstock: canola oil
Capacity: 170 MMly (45 MMgy)
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: The environmental permitting process is underway, according to a company spokesman. Once the process is
complete, the company plans to break ground in the spring
of 2009.

Canadian Green Fuels Inc.
Location: McLean, Saskatchewan
Target groundbreaking: fall 2008
Feedstock: canola oil
Capacity: 200 MMly (53 MMgy)
Process technology: Greenline Industries Inc.
Synopsis: According to Chief Development Officer Troy Metz, an environmental assessment of the project is underway. "As soon as the environmental assessment is done, we're ready to go," he said. Greenline Industries will provide approximately 60 percent to 70 percent of the plant's infrastructure.

Methes Energies
Location: Sombra, Ontario
Target groundbreaking: August 2008
Feedstock: beef tallow/choice white grease
Capacity: 25 MMly (6.5 MMgy)
Process technology: Methes Energies
Synopsis: According to Director of Business Development Nicholas Ng, the project will begin as soon as the site is secured, which he expected at press time to occur in late July. The
brownfield site includes a former chemical plant that will be
retrofitted to accommodate the company's modular design. Each 1.3 MMgy processor takes 16 weeks to install, and multiple
processors can be installed at the same time.





 
 
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