Partnership results in year-round biodiesel availability in Upper Midwest

By NBB | January 17, 2013

A successful partnership between the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Harms Oil Co., National Biodiesel Foundation, and Clean Cities has increased the availability of biodiesel blends in the region.

Biodiesel is regularly blended at temperatures above freezing. During the winter months, biodiesel blends have been difficult to find for diesel fleets and fuel retailers in South Dakota and southwest Minnesota due to the absence of heated storage tanks. A new Harms Oil biodiesel blending facility in Sioux Falls, S.D., has a heated tank that will allow year-round blending of the renewable fuel.

Installation of this biodiesel-loading infrastructure is especially important in Minnesota where all diesel fuel currently must contain a minimum of 5 percent biodiesel (B5). The percentage will eventually increase to B10, and then B20. 

“It had become apparent that additional infrastructure in Southwest Minnesota would be necessary for everyone to feel comfortable increasing the statewide requirement from 5 to 10 percent biodiesel,” said Shelby Neal, NBB director of state governmental affairs. “The new terminal should address that need and move the state closer to adoption of B10.”

Jim Willers, a soybean farmer from Beaver Creek, Minn., and chair of the Minnesota Biodiesel Council, added, “This facility will offer year-round service that hasn't been available from a fuel distributor before, plus they will be capable of supplying an underserved region of the country.”

“Harms Oil is pleased to be a part of this important addition to our region’s fuel supply infrastructure, making biodiesel readily available to our customers on a year-round basis,” said Jason Harms of Harms Oil. “The improved facility will continue to bring our country another small step toward energy independence and improved air quality.”

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