Western Iowa Energy plant begins biodiesel production

By | June 01, 2006
After nearly a year of construction, Western Iowa Energy LLC was set to begin production at press time, according to General Manager Chris Daniel. The 30 MMgy biodiesel plant is located near Wall Lake, Iowa.

Overall, construction went smoothly on the project. "(There) were some ups and downs, of course, as with any construction job of this size," Daniel said.

The processing facility will utilize soybean oil and animal fat as its feedstock. Initially, treated soybean oil will be purchased off the market from multiple suppliers. The facility accepted its first load of soybean oil at the end of April.

West Central Co-op is acting as the feedstock procurement agent for Western Iowa Energy. That business also serves as the marketing agency for the biodiesel and glycerin produced at the facility.

An on-site soybean oil pretreatment facility should be on line within six to eight weeks after the biodiesel process facility begins full production. Once that is completed, Western Iowa Energy will purchase crude oil off the market and refine it at the company's pretreatment facility. "When we switch to crude oil will depend on feedstock pricing and the spread between refined and crude (oil)," Daniel said.

The plant is located on a 38-acre parcel of land located one mile south of Wall Lake. Currently, there are 26 employees. For more information, visit www.westerniowaenergy.com.
 
 
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