Proposed Biodiesel Plant List: 2005

Biodiesel Magazine presents its inaugural roundup of proposed biodiesel plants from across the United States and Canada. More than 30 plants are highlighted from the pre-feasibility stage to the near-construction stage, indicating the large potential for growth in the industry.
By Ron Kotrba, Dave Nilles, Jessica Williams, and Tom Bryan | June 01, 2005
When the Biodiesel Magazine editorial team decided to compile a list of proposed biodiesel projects in the United States and Canada, it was faced with a daunting task. Essentially, the goal was to provide an accurate-as-possible view of the near future of the North American biodiesel industry.

The challenges included defining just what exactly is a "commercial-scale" biodiesel plant. For the sake of this list, proposed projects ranging from just under 1 mmgy to massive 50 mmgy plants were included. This year's list initially included more than 150 such projects. Eventually, those were boiled down to the 36 plants listed here, whose potential combined maximum capacity surpasses 500 mmgy. That's a staggering statistic considering the U.S. industry produced approximately 30 mmgy in 2004.

The editorial team's criteria for inclusion were both simple and liberal: Every proposed-still active--project (those that have not yet broken ground) brought to the attention of Biodiesel Magazine editors was included on the list if, and only if, the status of the project could be verified by a reliable source or public records.

This list isn't intended to be an all-encompassing inventory of every proposed biodiesel project in the United States and Canada-it's merely a snapshot of what is happening in the industry right now. If it's any indication, the bright future for the biodiesel industry can be summed up in one word-growth.

The inaugural list begins with a look toward America's West Coast.

Unnamed
Location: Spokane County, Washington
Target groundbreaking: N/A
Feedstock: virgin oil
Capacity: N/A
Process technology: N/A
Synopsis: Contrary to some reports, this project is actually not being managed by the Spokane County Conservation District. A spokesman for the organization said the Conservation District is simply coordinating the efforts of the groups associated with the proposed plant. "It is sort of modeled after the Ralston (Iowa) plant-it would be an oilseed crushing facility with a biodiesel plant," said Jim Armstrong, a public information specialist with the Conservation District. Armstrong told Biodiesel Magazine the group has formed a business entity and is considering joint venture offers. He gave away few clues about the project, saying the farmers associated with it were not interested in divulging a lot of information at this time. However, he said, the group has put together what he called "one of the few viable business plans I've seen for a plant out here."

Unnamed
Location: Columbia County, Washington
Target groundbreaking: fall 2005/spring 2006
Feedstock: canola oil/safflower oil/flax oil/sunflower oil
Capacity: 10 mmgy to 17 mmgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: This project is located in close proximity to Dayton, Wash., in the southeast corner of the state. The company is moving ahead with the project following positive results from a BBI International feasibility study, according to Project Manager Dwight Robanske. He said the project is currently raising equity and hopes to begin construction this fall.

Oregon Biofuels LLC

Location: Portland, Oregon
Target groundbreaking: 2005
Feedstock: waste vegetable oil/virgin oil
Capacity: undeclared
Process technology: N/A
Synopsis: According to the company's Web site, this Portland-based company is currently in the process of testing feedstocks that will be used in its proposed biodiesel plant. Biodiesel Magazine was unable to reach Oregon Biofuels CEO Dean Wiest prior to press time in mid-May, but the executive has previously stated that the company intended to bring the facility on line in 2005.

Baker Commodities Inc.
Location: Los Angeles, California; near Seattle, Washington
Target groundbreaking: N/A
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 10 mmgy
Process technology: Superior Process Technologies LLC
Synopsis: Baker Commodities is currently involved with a number of proposed biodiesel projects throughout the United States, and a representative of the company said the company was holding off on making detailed announcements about them until each project was further developed. Each facility would be owned outright by Baker Commodities. Baker Commodities is the majority shareholder in the biodiesel process design company Superior Process Technologies LLC, which is currently developing a pilot-scale biodiesel plant at Iowa State University. The facility is expected to be on line by June 1.

Magic Valley Energy Co.
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Target groundbreaking: summer 2005
Feedstock: waste vegetable oil/canola oil
Capacity: less than 1 mmgy
Process technology: Intrepid Technology Inc.
Synopsis: This plant project, according to General Manager Winston Inouye, would be co-located next to parent company Intrepid Technology Inc.'s methane digester. Plant operations like process heating will be partly fired by methane from the digester and natural gas. Inouye said the company is working with the state to implement a canola production program.

Energy Fuel Dynamics LLC
Location: near Gillette or Sheridan, Wyoming
Target groundbreaking: spring 2006
Feedstock: canola oil/brown mustard oil/soy oil/waste vegetable oil
Capacity: 2 mmgy to 5 mmgy
Process technology: University of Comahue Chemical Engineering
Dept., Nuequen, Argentina
Synopsis: Farm Sector Economics has completed Energy Fuel Dynamics' (EFD) feasibility study and business plan, said Bob Marron, managing member of EFD. The plan calls for skid-mounted construction to be permanently affixed in a continuous flow facility. Funding is expected from the private sector, federal grants, low interest loans and the Wyoming Business Council. Plans indicate an anticipated start-up date by summer/fall 2006.

San Juan Biodiesel Co-op.
Location: southwest Colorado
Target groundbreaking: N/A
Feedstock: safflower oil/sunflower oil/canola oil
Capacity: N/A
Process technology: N/A
Synopsis: This project is in the very early stages of development. According to board member Greg Vlaming, an independent consultant has just completed a feasibility study for the cooperative. The plan is to "grow it here, process it here and use it here," Vlaming said.

North Dakota Biodiesel Inc.
Location: Minot, North Dakota
Target groundbreaking: fall 2005
Feedstock: canola oil
Capacity: 32 mmgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: This continuous-flow plant will utilize a process technology well proven in Europe, the world's leader in biodiesel production. German-based Udhe GmbH will act as the general contractor. The plant will be owned by a Delaware-based holdings company, and if all goes well, the facility could be producing by late 2006. According to Skip Hauth, a project spokesman, the biodiesel coproduct glycerin would be sold to the pharmaceutical market. Permits still need to be obtained, and the company is also applying for various grants, credits and incentives to help fund the project.

Unnamed
Location: Hallock, Minnesota
Target groundbreaking: N/A
Feedstock: soybean oil/other virgin vegetable oils
Capacity: 3 mmgy to 20 mmgy
Process technology: N/A
Synopsis: This project, supported by Hallock Cooperative Grain Elevator Co. and local Johnson Oil Co., is currently in the business plan stage after completing a feasibility study. According to Todd Johnson of Johnson Oil Co., the planned facility would be a continuous flow plant. Glycerin may be sold to the cosmetic industry or burned to create heat for the plant. Several grants from the USDA, Northwest Minnesota Foundation and Agricultural Utilization and Research Institute of Minnesota have helped the project move forward.

Mid-America Biofuels
Location: Mexico, Missouri
Target groundbreaking: July 2005
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: 30 mmgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: This company is currently finishing up its business plan after conducting a feasibility study with the help of state grants. According to company President Warren Stemme, the plant will be majority farmer-owned, and Archer Daniels Midland Co. will be a minority partner. The facility will use a continuous flow system and is scheduled to come on line by October 2006.

Prairie Pride Inc.

Location: Bates or Vernon County, Missouri
Target groundbreaking: fall 2005
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: near 30 mmgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: This proposed plant will produce biodiesel from soybeans using a solvent extraction system, according to project spokesman Marvin Oerke. A feasibility study is currently underway. The company has applied for USDA value-added grants and, if all goes well, the plant would be on line by mid-2006. Oerke said the facility will be farmer-owned, marketing the glycerin coproduct in the Kansas City, Mo., area. Oerke also noted a large demand for soybean meal in the area might also contribute to the plant's success.

Earth Biofuels
Location: Durant, Oklahoma
Target groundbreaking: late May/June 2005
Feedstock: soy oil/yellow grease
Capacity: 10 mmgy
Process Technology: N/A
Synopsis: According to CEO Tommy Johnson, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and Department of Environmental Quality are finalizing permitting. Either electricity or natural gas may power Earth Biofuels' Durant batch plant. This facility will produce 40 mmgy of petroleum diesel from Oklahoma crude oil and 10 mmgy of biodiesel. Biodiesel would be produced using approximately 65 percent soy oil and 35 percent yellow grease. Funding is financed through ongoing stock sales, debt and tax-free bonds. Sept. 1, 2005 is the targeted start-up date.

GalCo

Location: Pasadena, Texas
Target groundbreaking: summer 2005
Feedstock: soy oil/other virgin vegetable oils
Capacity: roughly 1 mmgy
Process technology: N/A
Synopsis: GalCo Environmental Specialists recently acquired a former chemical plant in the Bayport Industrial District of Pasadena, Texas. While the company's primary function is cleaning tanks, railcars, shipping containers, boxes and totes, it is interested in biodiesel production because a portion of the facility it purchased is equipped with two benzoate ester reactors that could easily be converted for biodiesel production. The company is currently in talks with multiple biodiesel design/build and marketing firms interested in forging relationships. Tracy Hollister, the company's vice president and facility manager, told Biodiesel Magazine the site is perfect for biodiesel production because it is near major diesel markets, and the facility has adequate steam, water, rail and storage capabilities. Hollister said the plant would probably start out producing approximately 1 mmgy, but could certainly expand later. He also said the company hopes to have the plant on line by October 2005.

Natural Fuel & Energy Inc.
Location: Houston, Texas
Target groundbreaking: July 2005
Feedstock: virgin vegetable oils
Capacity: 40 mmgy
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: Natural Fuel & Energy President and CEO Ronald Reilly told Biodiesel Magazine that this project, located on the Houston Ship Channel, has major permits issued and is nearing completion of a financing package. A turnkey EPC contractor has been chosen and supply and off-take agreements have been signed. Production is expected within a year. Reilly said the plant's investors are international and domestic. He added that the company is also considering additional plants.

Mid-America Biodiesel LLC
Location: Wabash County, Illinois
Target groundbreaking: early 2006
Feedstock: soy oil/rapeseed oil
Capacity: 40 mmgy to 50 mmgy
Process technology: N/A
Synopsis: This project is in the infancy stage, according to Mid-America Biodiesel President Claude Wilson. The group is currently going through a feasibility study for a project that would likely be located near Mt. Carmel. The group received funding for the feasibility study through the state's AgriFIRST grant program. Wilson said he hopes to finalize a process technology provider by late June. The limited liability corporation was formed in November 2004.

Blackhawk Biofuels LLC
Location: Stephenson County, Illinois
Target groundbreaking: spring 2006
Feedstock: soy oil/possibly pork fat or corn oil
Capacity: 30 mmgy
Process technology: N/A
Synopsis: The company scheduled a pre-feasibility meeting in early June, according to a project spokesman. Although it is still in the beginning stages, the company plans to utilize a continuous flow process and apply for funding through USDA grant programs. If all goes well, it could be operational by fall 2006.

Unnamed
Location: southeast Illinois
Target groundbreaking: N/A
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: undeclared
Process technology: N/A
Synopsis: The feasibility study for this project should be completed in early June, according to spokesman Dick Grogg. If results are positive, a business plan will follow. Illinois AgriFIRST grants have helped fund the study and provide technical assistance. The group pushing for the project is called National Trail Biodiesel. Grogg said he hopes to have a site selected and an equity drive launched before the end of the year.

Countrymark Co-op
Location: Mt. Vernon, Indiana
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: 15 mmgy
Process technology: N/A
Synopsis: Countrymark Co-op has completed an economic feasibility study and is in the midst of a technical feasibility study, according to CEO Charlie Smith. The farmer-owned group operates a crude oil refinery in Mt. Vernon and has three biodiesel distribution terminals currently operating in Indiana.

Indiana Clean Energy (ICE)
Location: Benton County, Indiana
Target groundbreaking: Spring 2006
Feedstock: soy oil/possibly other virgin vegetable oils and animal fats
Capacity: 50 mmgy
Process technology: Renewable Energy Group (REG)
Synopsis: REG is currently conducting an engineering study for several proposed sites. According to ICE board member Jim Collins, REG will choose the general contractor and equipment provider, as well as market the plant's glycerin. The facility will utilize a continuous flow process. If all goes well, it could be producing by spring 2007. Of the $30 million the company wanted to garner for the project, $26 million has been committed so far. Grants from the U.S. DOE and others have also helped. According to Collins, who also plans to act as general manager of the plant, all necessary permits for Benton County have been obtained.

Unnamed
Location: Macomb County, Michigan
Target groundbreaking: 2005
Feedstock: N/A
Capacity: N/A
Process technology: N/A
Synopsis: This project is in the preliminary planning stages, according to Macomb County Commissioner Andrey Duzj. He said discussions have been held regarding plant sites and possible feedstocks. If developed, this would be the first commercial-scale biodiesel facility in Michigan. Duzj said he expects development of the project within the next six months to a year. "I feel this technology could be very beneficial on a number of fronts and on a number of levels," Duzj said.

Biodiesel of Mississippi Inc.
Location: McMinnville, Tennessee
Target groundbreaking: summer 2005
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: 22 mmgy
Process technology: Biodiesel of Mississippi Inc.
Synopsis: This company already produces biodiesel in Nettleton, Miss., and could construct up to five units this year. The McMinnville project would be producing by August. The company is also actively pursuing a site in the Mississippi Delta for a future refinery.

Earth Biofuels
Location: Delta, Mississippi
Target groundbreaking: late May 2005
Feedstock: soy oil/yellow grease
Capacity: 10 mmgy
Process technology: N/A
Synopsis: Earth Biofuels has completed its property study on this batch plant located on the Mississippi River, CEO Tommy Johnson said. Electricity will be used to power the plant. Meetings between the board and the state Economic Development Council were ongoing at press time. Funding for the project is coming from stock sales, debt and tax-free bonds. Sept. 1, 2005 is the anticipated start-up date.

Biodiesel of Mississippi Inc.
Location: Aberdeen, Mississippi
Target groundbreaking: summer 2005
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: 22 mmgy
Process technology: Biodiesel of Mississippi Inc.
Synopsis: This is the second project Biodiesel of Mississippi is proposing this summer. The company may also produce additional plants that would be sold.

Atlantic Bioenergy LLC
Location: Mount Olive, North Carolina
Target groundbreaking: fall 2005
Feedstock: soy oil/animal fats
Capacity: 30 mmgy
Process technology: Renewable Energy Group (REG)
Synopsis: The North Carolina Grain Growers Co-op is pushing this project. Sam Brake Jr., Grain Growers manager, said he hopes to begin an investment campaign in late summer. "It's starting to roll a good deal right now," he said. The plant would be located close to several soybean-crushing plants, and soybean meal demand is high in the area, according to Brake. The planned plant site is located near rail lines and two interstate highways. Brake said the plant would initially use soy oil but eventually incorporate animal fats.

BioMass Energy Services Inc.
Location: Brunswick, Georgia
Target groundbreaking: August 2005
Feedstock: canola oil
Capacity: 7 mmgy to 15 mmgy
Process technology: Crown Iron Works Co.
Synopsis: President Randy Parker said a letter of intent has been signed between BioMass Energy Services (BES) and Hercules Inc. for this continuous flow design facility's co-location on Hercules' Brunswick site. BES is working on a 12 mmgy contract with a company out of Brazil, to which BES would export B100. The BES team has years of engineering and chemical experience, and will actively assist Crown Iron Works in developing the process technology.

Unnamed
Location: Paint Township, Pennsylvania
Target groundbreaking: late fall 2005
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: 12 mmgy
Process technology: Renewable Energy Group (REG)
Synopsis: Paint Township Supervisor Randy Vossburg said he hopes a plant could break ground by this fall. The $25 million project would be located next to an existing fiberboard plant and begin production with soy oil. Vossburg said a group of investors from New Castle, Penn., are pushing the project. Existing railroad tracks are suitable for serving a biodiesel plant, according to Vossburg.

Philadelphia Fry-O-Diesel
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Target groundbreaking: spring 2005
Feedstock: waste grease/trap grease
Capacity: 260,000 gallons per year
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: This project is starting out as a batch-process pilot project before eventually scaling up to 3 mmgy, according to spokeswoman Nadia Adawi. She said the group has a lease on a site and is starting the permitting process. Lakeland, Fla.-based W.W. Berry and Associates will design the process and production facility. Adawi said the group is ready to order equipment and retrofit the site, pending the reception of grant funding. She hopes to begin producing biodiesel this summer.

BioPreserve
Location: northwest Pennsylvania/northeast Ohio
Target groundbreaking: late 2005
Feedstock: soy oil/poultry fat
Capacity: undeclared
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: BioPreserve Corp. President Brad Davis told Biodiesel Magazine the project is in the process of finding and purchasing a potential plant location, and raising financing for the project. He said the site would be close to the Lake Erie shorefront. Following site selection Davis said the plan is to begin permitting for the project. The plant's biodiesel would be marketed in the Northeast.

Keystone BioFuels Inc.

Location: near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Target groundbreaking: spring 2005
Feedstock: soy oil
Capacity: 1 mmgy to 2.5 mmgy
Process technology: Pacific Biodiesel Inc.
Synopsis: This multi-feedstock batch process project is currently acquiring all necessary permits, according to Keystone Biofuels President and CEO Race Miner. The proposed plant site is located in an industrial area near a waste oil recycler. Pacific Biodiesel is under contract to provide the process technology for the batch plant. Miner said he hopes to begin production by late fall. A soybean crushing facility is located about 75 miles from the proposed plant site.

Unnamed
Location: Neville Island, Pennsylvania
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: animal fats
Capacity: 10 mmgy
Process technology: Capital Technologies Inc.
Synopsis: Winchester, Va.-based rendering company Valley Proteins is expected to sign a joint venture agreement with Capital Technologies for the plant, said Valley Proteins President J.J. Smith. Valley Proteins would be the minority owner and provide the plant's feedstock. The proposed plant site is located in a former rendering facility. Smith said he hopes to have the plant operating by year's end. The facility is being designed to run on multiple feedstocks including yellow grease. Smith said his company also holds the permit for a biodiesel project in Rockingham County, Va., but the company has put that project on hold until completion of the Neville Island plant.

Northeast Biodiesel Co.
Location: Greenfield, Massachusetts
Target groundbreaking: 2005
Feedstock: waste vegetable oil
Capacity: 10 mmgy
Process technology: N/A
Synopsis: This project is in the final stages of capital development, according to Tom Leue, who is acting as a consultant on the project. The initial contracts for the waste vegetable oil feedstock have been signed. Leue said the continuous flow plant could start producing in early 2006. The plant site is a greenfield industrial park. The plant's first fuel will be for off-road use, but Leue said the plant would seek BQ-9000 accreditation.

Baker Commodities Inc.
Location: near Boston, Massachusetts
Target groundbreaking: N/A
Feedstock: multi-feedstock
Capacity: 10 mmgy
Process technology: Superior Process Technologies LLC
Synopsis: This project is in addition to planned facilities in Washington and California. Each facility would be owned outright by Baker Commodities. Baker Commodities is the majority shareholder in the biodiesel process design company Superior Process Technologies LLC.

Agri-Green Biodiesel
Location: Fernie, British Columbia
Target groundbreaking: fall 2005
Feedstock: waste vegetable oil/animal fats
Capacity: 8.5 mmly (2.2 mmgy)
Process Technology: Renewable Products Development
Laboratories Inc. (RPDL)
Synopsis: According to Gary Tomlinson, the first step for this project would be a small pilot-scale facility capable of producing approximately 2 mmly (500,000 gallons per year). However, if successful, an 8.5 mmly (2.2 mmgy) continuous flow skid-mounted design would be ordered from RPDL this fall and be operable by May 2006. Either plant would initially use waste vegetable oil as feedstock. However, the plant could use animal fats if plans go through for several area cattle slaughterhouse plants.

West Coast Biodiesel Ltd.
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Target groundbreaking: spring 2005
Feedstock: animal fats
Capacity: 2.8 mmgy
Process Technology: Lurgi PSI
Synopsis: This project is the first foray into biodiesel production for West Coast Reduction Ltd. The rendering company is already western Canada's largest biodiesel distributor with about 40,000 gallons of B100 inventory, according to West Coast Reduction Chief Information Officer Ridley Bestwick. He said West Coast Biodiesel is close to signing a contract with Lurgi PSI for a 2.8 mmgy skid-mounted plant. Bestwick said infrastructure is in place and synergies exist for biodiesel production due to West Coast Reduction's rendering facility. He hopes to begin production in January 2006 and then apply for BQ-9000 accreditation.

Canadian Bioenergy Corp.

Location: southwest British Columbia
Target groundbreaking: early 2006
Feedstock: undeclared
Capacity: 20 mmly to 40 mmly (5 mmgy to 11 mmgy)
Process technology: undeclared
Synopsis: This project, which has been in the planning stages for 18 months, is in the process of site selection and could begin financing by the fourth quarter of 2005, according to CEO Ian Thompson. He told Biodiesel Magazine the plant would handle multiple feedstocks and use a continuous flow technology. Canadian Bioenergy Corp. has operated as a biodiesel distributor in Alberta and British Columbia since 2002.

Unnamed
Location: southwest Manitoba
Target groundbreaking: N/A
Feedstock: canola oil/sunflower oil
Capacity: 2.5 mmly (660,000 gallons per year)
Process Technology: N/A
Synopsis: This small-scale project is in the early stages, according to a project representative. A group of farmers/investors is interested in building an oilseed crushing facility and refining facility. The first phase of a feasibility study has been completed and will be presented shortly to investors. Feedstock would mainly include canola and sunflower oil but could also include off-grade mustard seed oil.
 
 
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