Business Briefs

By Staff | March 10, 2014

Another biodiesel plant remodeled by BDI-BioEnergy International AG in Volos, Greece, owned by Elin Biofuels S.A., was officially opened in early February. BDI contracted for this major retrofit commission in Greece, worth €3.6 million ($4.86 million), at the beginning of 2013. The aim of the retrofit optimization project was to increase both raw material flexibility and the quality of the final biodiesel product. Capacity of the newly optimized facility is about 33,000 tons per year (10 MMgy). The distilled product will meet stricter quality requirements under the new EU biodiesel standard, CEN 14214/2013, according to BDI.

Renewable Energy Group Inc. is acquiring renewable chemical technology developer LS9 Inc. for a purchase price of up to $61.5 million in cash and stock, forming REG Life Sciences LLC. REG also broke ground on a $13.2 million upgrade to its Newton, Iowa, biodiesel plant, REG Newton LLC, to allow processing of cheaper feedstocks. The upgrade includes adding distillation. The company also recently formed REG Energy Services LLC to sell petroleum-based heating oil and diesel fuel in the Northeast.

Simadan Holding recently announced it is investing €65 million ($88.6 million) in a 150,000 ton (45 MMgy) biodiesel plant expansion in Amsterdam. The plant will be operated by Simadan subsidiary Biodiesel Amsterdam. The investment includes a glycerin distillation plant scaled at 50,000 tons per year of pharmaceutical-grade product. According to BDI-BioEnergy International AG, the company contracted for the plant expansion using its multifeedstock technology, Biodiesel Amsterdam began operating its 30 MMgy biodiesel refinery—also built by BDI—in 2010. The expansion will bring total plant capacity to 75 MMgy. BDI-BioEnergy says the contract, worth €47 million to the company, is its largest commission to date.

Crimson Renewable Energy LP was awarded a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program to support expansion of its biorefinery in Bakersfield, Calif. Crimson expects to begin construction of the first portions of the expansion project this spring, with completion in 2015. The project will allow Crimson to increase use of ultra-low carbon materials such as corn-oil byproduct from ethanol plants.

Lanxess recently introduced Baynox Extra, a highly concentrated liquid stabilizer for biodiesel, to its range. The easy-to-meter additive effectively prolongs the shelf life of biodiesel, even when it contains polyunsaturated fatty acids. This combination of the two established antioxidants Baynox and Baynox Plus has an active ingredient content of 50 percent. Baynox Extra is added to biodiesel in a concentration of 200 to 500 ppm. As the stabilizer does not crystallize, it can be reliably used at temperatures as low as minus 10 degrees Celsius.

Keystone Biofuels Inc. and KBI Industries Inc. have retained Heritage Equity Partners to seek a buyer, investor or joint venture partner for their biodiesel refinery in Camp Hill, Pa. Both entities filed Chapter 11 in March 2013. The technology was designed by Pacific Biodiesel, and production started in 2008. In 2010, the refinery was relocated from Shiremanstown, Pa., to its present location and underwent considerable design and process upgrades. The facility maintains its multifeedstock capability utilizing acid esterification/base transesterification and is rated for 33 MMgy by the EPA, but actual capacity is between 15 and 18 MMgy.

Portugal-based biodiesel technology provider Incbio announced it has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia-based Bio Renewable Energy Factory to supply a 40,000-ton-per-year (12 MMgy) ultrasonic biodiesel refinery. BREF plans to use animal fats from the Saudi rendering industry. Incbio stated this will be the first of several projects planned by BREF. The companies expect the plant to be complete by fourth quarter.

Marathon Petroleum Corp. has signed an agreement to purchase a 60 MMgy facility in Cincinnati, Ohio, from Felda Iffco Sdn Bhd, Malaysia. The plant produces several products including biodiesel and glycerin. The transaction is expected to close in April.

BF Commodities recently announced it will open the first biodiesel refinery in the Swiss canton of Ticino. The plant, to be called BF Commodities Biodiesel, will be constructed in the city of Lugano. Carlo Pasquinetti with BF Commodities tells Biodiesel Magazine that Biolatina is designing and building the facility. Construction is slated to begin in April with completion expected in June. The plant will be capable of producing 1.5 MMgy of biodiesel from animal fats and used cooking oil.

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