Tellurian, Golden State Foods open storage/distribution terminal

By Kris Bevill | October 14, 2008
The biodiesel industry has had a tough year, but cautiously optimistic companies such as Tellurian Biodiesel Inc. continue to expand their operations. The Los Angeles-based biodiesel producer and marketer, along with its partner Golden State Foods, recently opened a distribution terminal and storage area in Los Angeles.

At press time, Tellurian was expecting its first railcar shipment of biodiesel to arrive at the terminal Sept. 23 and planned to begin selling biodiesel no later than Oct. 1. Tellurian Vice President of Sales and Marketing Joe Gershen told Biodiesel Magazine the terminal was formerly a petroleum recycling terminal. Tellurian leased a portion of the building, which came equipped with most of the infrastructure, including storage tanks, which lessened the financial costs of opening the terminal. A few biodiesel-specific pieces of equipment were added, and the tanks were thoroughly cleaned to be ready for biodiesel. Gershen said having a fiscally responsible partner like Golden State Foods has helped, and that the project was funded "carefully and conservatively."

Gershen said the decision to open the distribution terminal was made after regularly receiving calls from biodiesel users who had run out of product and were looking for more. "It's hard to gauge anything, but obviously we wouldn't have opened the terminal if we weren't optimistic about the market," he said, adding that inventory management will be the biggest initial challenge. "We don't want too much, but we also don't want to sell out our entire stock in the first two days." He expects the majority of the terminal's customers to come from southern California, but said they've received inquiries from northern California, Arizona, Nevada and other areas of the Southwest.

Tellurian's B99 terminal is conveniently located near two petroleum terminals, Gershen said, so jobbers can easily purchase biodiesel and drive "down the road" to get petroleum, or vice versa.

Quality has always been Tellurian's No. 1 priority, according to Gershen, and the biodiesel offered at the terminal must also meet the company's standards. It will only sell BQ-9000 certified biodiesel and plans to have the terminal BQ-9000 certified as a marketer within the first six months of operation. Because of its quality demands, Tellurian must import some supply from out-of-state. However, Gershen said the company would like to become an all-California terminal in the future.

Tellurian and Golden State Foods partnered early this year to form Encore Biorenewables, a biodiesel production company that plans to open its first facility in southern California. Once operational, Gershen said the plant will supply at least some of the terminal's needs.
 
 
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