ADM, All-American Biodiesel break ground in North Dakota

By | July 01, 2006
In response to legislative initiatives that North Dakota hopes will make the state amenable to biodiesel producers, two new plants are under construction. All-American Biodiesel, founded by Lee Dirkzwager, has converted an abandoned school in York, N.D., into an office and testing laboratory for the production facility. Lee is also building two new structures, which will house material preparation and final filtration operations for the 1 MMgy plant.

Dirkzwager expects All-American Biodiesel to begin production in August. It would be the first commercial biodiesel plant in the state, and Dirkzwager already expects the facility to expand to 4 MMgy within three years. All-American Biodiesel will initially use soy oil as a feedstock, as well as canola in the future.

"We came into a seven-acre site that included a 40-year-old school, so [retrofitting] the school is complete, and structurally we are 95 percent [complete] on the other two buildings." Dirkzwager said. "Now we will start on the electrical systems and do some more siding, and the delivery of reactors is scheduled for July."

Dirkzwager would not comment on the process technology or the provider of the reactors for All-American Biodiesel facility. However, he did say his engineering firm, Colorado Webco, which has operations in Vail, Colo., Chicago and Minneapolis, was involved in some biodiesel engineering projects.

Elsewhere in the state, 80 miles west of York, Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) has broken ground on an 85 MMgy biodiesel plant, adjacent to its canola crush complex near Velva, N.D. It would be the largest U.S. biodiesel plant when completed. The oil-crushing facility has already helped to triple production of canola in the region by providing a local market for canola oil. The biodiesel plant will create 12 full-time jobs when operational, according to a press release from North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven's office.

Construction on the Velva facility is expected to be complete by April 2007. It will ise the equivalant of 1 million acres of canola annually. ADM also installed a new roller at the crush facility, which will allow it to increase capacity. With more than 290 full-time employees, ADM has more than $165 million invested in production and grain facilities in North Dakota.
The initiatives North Dakota passed last year to draw biodiesel production to the state included a $400,000 Biodiesel PACE (Partnership in Assisting Community Expansion) program, which will provide up to $650,000 in interest buy-down for a biodiesel plant, a sales tax exemption on all new processing equipment, an income tax credit for any fuel supplier that blends biodiesel fuel to the ratio of 5 percent, and a tax credit equal to 10 percent per year for five years of the seller's direct costs incurred to adapt or add equipment to their facilities for the ability to sell biodiesel blends. The state also has an Agricultural Commodity Processing Facility Investment Tax Credit equal to 30 percent of the investment in building a plant, up to a maximum of $50,000.
 
 
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