Kentucky plant breaks ground; others planned

By | August 01, 2006
A facility touted to become Kentucky's largest biodiesel plant recently broke ground, and two more projects may not be very far behind.

Owensboro Grain Biodiesel broke ground on a 50 MMgy plant in mid-June near Owensboro, Ky. The plant is located adjacent to a large soy-crushing facility owned by Owensboro Grain Co., a family-owned firm founded in 1906. Owensboro Grain already produces 75 MMgy of soy oil, according to John Wright, vice president of strategic planning and development.
Desmet Ballestra is the design/build firm on the project, which is expected to start up in mid-2007.

Owensboro is located in northwest Kentucky, along the Ohio River border with Indiana. The biodiesel project received funding assistance in the form of a grant from the Kentucky Agriculture Development Board and a low-interest loan from the Agriculture Finance Corp.

Owensboro Grain already has a significant foothold in the soy industry. The company produces edible oils and soy products including meal, hull pellets, oil and lecithin for human consumption and animal feeds. The company's trademarked SoyMax, a soybean meal product, was developed alongside specialists at Tyson Foods and two universities.

Owensboro is on pace to become the second commercial biodiesel plant in operation in the state. Griffin Industries produces 2 MMgy in a multi-feedstock facility in Butler, Ky. Griffin's plant is located approximately 30 miles south of Cincinnati.
Two more biodiesel projects are springing up in Kentucky. Green Earth Bio Fuels is a planned facility near Irvine. Spokesman Duane Starr told Biodiesel Magazine at the end of June that his company is negotiating the rights to use an existing facility. Once the decision on the building is made, Starr said his company will move ahead quickly. "We already have plans drawn up to construct a plant," he said.

Green Earth BioFuels has received financial help for its project. In a May ceremony, the group was presented with a $500,000 check from John Clay, Kentucky deputy secretary of Environmental and Public Protection.

A second proposed facility is in the planning stages near Hopkinsville, which is already home to a 33 MMgy ethanol plant. A spokesman for the 5 MMgy project said the biodiesel plant was in the design phase. He said tanks and equipment were being lined up, but no firm start date was set as of late June.
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