Alberta welcomes new equipment manufacturing plant

By | March 15, 2007
North American biodiesel producers are sometimes set back in the construction stage due to an overall lack of equipment needed to run a plant. Perhaps that is why the Canadian government has given tremendous support to incoming biodiesel equipment manufacturer BioKing B.V. Based in the Netherlands, the family-owned company is set to open its doors in May in Lethbridge, Alberta, 135 miles south of Calgary and 60 miles north of the U.S. border.

BioKing President and CEO Hans van de Ven said the plant could possibly begin production of its reactors, wash tanks, preheat systems, oil presses and other equipment in April due to assistance from Canadian provicial officials. Van de Ven said BioKing is eager to get started in Lethbridge because the company has experienced overwhelming growth in the past years. Traffic on the company's North American Web site has increased by 40 percent, and BioKing receives nearly 2,000 e-mails each day, he added.

"We know there's a need for equipment in the U.S. and Canada, which is the reason we are moving there," van de Ven said. Currently, equipment costs for BioKing's customers in North America are high due to the strength of the euro compared with both the Canadian and U.S. dollar, as well as the transportion costs associated with shipping equipment from the Netherlands. By locating a new manufacturing hub in Lethbridge, van de Ven expects sales to increase 10-fold because of lowered equipment costs and convenience.

BioKing has decided to locate a smaller equipment manufacturing plant in Colorado, but it is still in the early planning stages. Van de Ven said they see a need for a Malaysian plant as well, due to a large clientele in that region. "We have some pretty nice equipment designed for crude palm oil, and we sell a lot in Malaysia," he said. "So we want to have a service point there, and then further I think we do not know yet."
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