Keep it Local

To convince a planning commission, Tidewater Biodiesel touts regional benefits
By Luke Geiver | May 12, 2011

Thomas Arrington, chairman of Tidewater Biodiesel, a future 10 MMgy Virginia biodiesel facility that was recently approved by the city of Chesapeake’s planning commission to build on a 5-acre site, knows the importance of location. As any biodiesel developer would do, Arrington spoke before the commission and outlined the benefits a future facility would bring. “Chesapeake is the perfect location for this facility for three important reasons,” he explains. The first reason should come as no surprise.

“Tidewater Biodiesel will create countless business opportunities for companies who are indirectly affiliated with biodiesel,” he says. In addition, he told the commission about the facility’s ability to play a role in reducing dependence on oil from foreign nations. But it was his explanation of the location of the facility that should act as a reminder to any producers looking to expand or build new facilities, that even with biodiesel, location is key. “Having a facility that creates fuel locally,” he says, “will only add to the ammunition that our local senators need” to counter a call by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission for the reduction of Navy personnel in the area.

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