North Carolina project plans collocation

By Jessica Sobolik | January 15, 2009
In mid-December, Buffalo, N.Y.-based Global Earth Energy Inc. announced plans to collocate a biodiesel plant with a chemical plant owned and operated by American Distillation Inc. in Leland, N.C. The situation gives the biodiesel plant access to tankage, personnel and a laboratory, among many other synergies.

Global Earth Energy will rent the land, build the modular biodiesel plant and sell the finished product, and American Distillation will operate the plant once it's built. The two companies will share utilities, operators, truck scales and more, according to Will Oliver, technical director of American Distillation. "This decision is key to the success of a modern-sized biodiesel plant," he told Biodiesel Magazine. If [biodiesel plants] aren't attached to an operating unit, I think they have a harder time making it work. It's a volatile marketplace."

Syd Harland, president and chief executive officer of Global Earth Energy, told Biodiesel Magazine that his company anticipates relatively no start-up costs for the facility that will initially produce 1 MMgy, possibly increasing to 5 MMgy if operations go well. "I've been looking at this for a long time," he said. "The problem is everyone wants to do 50 MMgy, but it's hard to get financing for that. The cost of oil is down. I think it's a better idea to start off small and see where we can go with that."

Harland said potential feedstocks include palm oil, soybean oil and animal fats. "There are a lot of soybeans and fats in North Carolina, but it always depends on the best price," he said. Oliver pointed out that American Distillation is located directly on the shore of Cape Fear, which leads to the Atlantic Ocean. Both he and Harland said they are considering importing feedstocks or exporting excess biodiesel once U.S. markets are satisfied.

Attributes that attracted Global Earth Energy to North Carolina included production incentives, ideal weather and proximity to a large group of end users. Mild temperatures will allow the company to avoid costly infrastructure installations, such as heaters that are needed in the Northeast. Two military bases are also located near the plant. Fort Bragg, a paratrooper and special operations base, is 100 miles northwest of Leland, while Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base, is 55 miles northeast of Leland. "They are federally mandated to use biodiesel in noncombat equipment," Harland said.

By June, Global Earth Energy hopes to begin installation, which will be handled by a construction company owned by American Distillation President Andy Simmons. A 40-by-8-foot concrete pad has been poured, and Harland is negotiating with equipment providers. "It's going to be easy because it's a small plant," Harland said. "At the same time, we have to prove in the long haul that we can make money with this." He mentioned the company is considering solar panels to bring electricity costs down.

Global Earth Energy may sell its 1 MMgy modular design to individual North Carolina counties in the future, according to Harland, putting the production process closer to the feedstocks. Those plants would then ship their B100 to Leland, where it would be blended and distributed. "We are trying to make this a project where it helps people in North Carolina and those who want to be involved in a green business," Harland said.

The chemical plant, in operation since 1992, had been contacted over the years by seven or eight parties interested in building an adjacent biodiesel plant, according to Oliver. "Global proved most serious," he said. Harland pointed out the fact that Oliver is a chemical engineer, which will also benefit the biodiesel plant. "Until we get the plant in there, it's hard to say [exactly how things will progress]," Harland said.
Array ( [REDIRECT_REDIRECT_STATUS] => 200 [REDIRECT_STATUS] => 200 [HTTP_USER_AGENT] => CCBot/2.0 ( [HTTP_ACCEPT] => text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8 [HTTP_IF_MODIFIED_SINCE] => Tue, 11 Dec 2018 17:02:06 GMT [HTTP_HOST] => [HTTP_CONNECTION] => Keep-Alive [HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING] => gzip [PATH] => /sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin [SERVER_SIGNATURE] =>
Apache/2.2.15 (CentOS) Server at Port 80
[SERVER_SOFTWARE] => Apache/2.2.15 (CentOS) [SERVER_NAME] => [SERVER_ADDR] => [SERVER_PORT] => 80 [REMOTE_ADDR] => [DOCUMENT_ROOT] => /datadrive/websites/ [SERVER_ADMIN] => [SCRIPT_FILENAME] => /datadrive/websites/ [REMOTE_PORT] => 59348 [REDIRECT_QUERY_STRING] => url=articles/3147/north-carolina-project-plans-collocation [REDIRECT_URL] => /app/webroot/articles/3147/north-carolina-project-plans-collocation [GATEWAY_INTERFACE] => CGI/1.1 [SERVER_PROTOCOL] => HTTP/1.1 [REQUEST_METHOD] => GET [QUERY_STRING] => url=articles/3147/north-carolina-project-plans-collocation [REQUEST_URI] => /articles/3147/north-carolina-project-plans-collocation [SCRIPT_NAME] => /app/webroot/index.php [PHP_SELF] => /app/webroot/index.php [REQUEST_TIME_FLOAT] => 1553384280.396 [REQUEST_TIME] => 1553384280 )