American Agri-Diesel starts production

By | September 01, 2006
Biodiesel production is a natural match for two brothers who own a construction company and whose father worked in alcohol production. Thanks to production incentives in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Jeff and Joel Dwire were able to fund American Agri-Diesel, which started production Aug. 1 in Burlington, Colo.

Jeff Dwire told Biodiesel Magazine that Burlington was the only place in Colorado where ideal factors fell into place, including rail access, room to expand, the ability to zone correctly and sufficient agricultural land for feedstock production. Rail access was a particular challenge. "When we could find a site, the rail didn't want to service it, or they would service an area that wasn't good enough," Dwire said. Getting local farmers on board also took some time. The plant is using locally grown soy, and is also capable of using sunflower and canola oil.

The construction process went smoothly once the site was selected, Dwire said. "A lot of the stuff was ready to go, so it didn't take long," he said, adding the tanks and other equipment were preordered before the location was finalized.

The brothers' construction company, Dwire Earth Moving and Excavation, will use at least 2 MMgy of the plant's biodiesel. The rest will be marketed through an undeclared biodiesel broker. The glycerin will also be marketed through a broker, which had not been determined at press time.

American Agri-Diesel has plans to expand this facility and also build at other locations. "This is a small test facility," Dwire said. "If this goes well, we expect to increase the capacity by 10 times." He stressed that markets will determine how much and how soon they will expand. To influence markets and "kick-start the industry," Dwire would like to see renewable fuel legislation, such as a B2 requirement, passed in Colorado and nationwide.
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