Construction starts at Western Dubuque Biodiesel

By | September 01, 2006
In July, Western Dubuque Biodiesel LLC broke ground on its 30 MMgy turnkey biodiesel refinery in Farley, Iowa. The site puts the plant near Iowa's borders with Wisconsin and Illinois, approximately 20 miles from the Mississippi River.

Construction of the large-scale turnkey plant is in full swing, confirmed Ed Recker, on-site project coordinator. Steger Construction began moving dirt as Schneider Surveying set grade stakes in mid-July. The official groundbreaking ceremony was held later that month, according to Renewable Energy Group (REG), which will design and build the facility.
"A storm blew through about three hours before the ceremony," Recker said, which grounded planes that some of Western Dubuque Biodiesel's invited guests were going to fly on. The plant's sign blew over as a result of the storm, he added, meaning even those who made it to town may not have been able to find the site. Luckily for those who were able to attend, the weather cleared up before the start of the ceremony.

As of July 31, near press time, crews continued to put up forms, and pour footings and walls for the process building, Recker verified. Western Dubuque Biodiesel plans to use soy oil as a feedstock, initially and primarily. After the plant begins production, Recker said it may be equipped to process other feedstocks, like animal fats.

As of early August, Recker told Biodiesel Magazine that Western Dubuque Biodiesel was still in negotiations with REG over biodiesel and glycerin marketing arrangements, so no deals had been cemented yet at that time. Recker also said with certainty that BQ-9000 certification is definitely a priority for the future biodiesel producer.

"Western Dubuque Biodiesel is responding to the overwhelming demand for biodiesel," said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. "This project is proof that locals can work together to develop and build a world-class biodiesel refinery. Iowa is clearly at the heart of this movement." Western Dubuque Biodiesel's anticipated start-up date is June 30, 2007.
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