Delta Development

New plant under development in Louisiana
By Erin Voegele | February 28, 2012

A former polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pelletization plant in Plaquemine, La., will soon be home to a new biodiesel plant. Construction on the facility, which is under development by Louisiana Biodiesel LLC, is expected to begin during the second quarter of this year. Ken Brown, the company’s president and CEO, expects the facility to be in operation during the first half of 2013.

The plant will have an initial capacity of 48 MMgy, with expansion up to 100 MMgy possible in the future, assuming economics support increased production, Brown says. He notes that the facility will also feature multifeedstock capabilities. According to Brown, the plant will include feedstock pretreatment and distillation equipment. Rather than using traditional catalysts, the proposed plant will employ a solid-state calcium-based catalyst manufactured by Albemarle Corp. “We expect to have fewer issues with the cleanup of our glycerin because we are not using a sodium-based catalyst and there are no salts,” Brown says.

One of the primary benefits of locating in Louisiana is the future plant’s proximity to RFS2 obligated parties. Brown says his company expects to sell most of its product into this compliance market. “Nonetheless, our goal is always going to be to maximize price and we are going to look for the best market for our product,” he continues. “We have the transportation infrastructure to send it anywhere.”

There are other benefits associated with the Louisiana location, Brown adds. “Louisiana has a very friendly business environment,” he says. “We have a lot of local partners involved in our project, and we have received a number of state incentives to locate our project there. We’ve had wonderful support from the Iberville Parish president, the parish board and the Iberville Chamber of Commerce, as well as the state of Louisiana Economic Development.”

The plant will be located on the Mississippi adjacent to a Dow Chemical facility. “We are negotiating a services agreement with Dow right now to provide transportation infrastructure support as well as a number of site utilities for us,” Brown says. “Dow has a deepwater terminal, so we would be able to bring ships and barges as well as trains and trucks into our facility.”

—Erin Voegele

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