Dynamic Fuels breaks ground on Louisiana plant

By Bryan Sims | September 16, 2008
Web exclusive posted Oct. 8, 2008 at 11:44 a.m. CST

Dynamic Fuels LLC, a joint venture formed between Tyson Foods and Syntroleum Corp., held a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 6 for its 75 MMgy renewable synthetic fuel production facility in Geismar, La.

The event featured comments from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as well as several Tyson and Syntroleum officials, along with state dignitaries. About 100 members of the general public and media also were in attendance.

According to Jeffrey Bigger, director of the Dynamic Fuels LLC management committee, the new facility will utilize Syntroleum's patent pending Bio-Refining Technology. Dynamic Fuels LLC will convert low-grade animal fats and waste vegetable oils procured and supplied by Tyson Foods using a hydroprocessing pathway over a catalyst system to make renewable synthetic fuel such as diesel additives and jet fuel. The renewable synthetic diesel fuel produced by Dynamic Fuels will be sold in the United States within the existing diesel fuel infrastructure.

"What we'll bring to the plant are those low-grade fats and greases that have already been rendered by a production facility elsewhere so we're not going to do any rendering on site," Bigger said. "We'll be processing the triglycerides and free fatty acid material on site."

Bigger added that Syntroleum will explore integrating other technological conversion pathways of the feedstock in the future such as gasification and/or Fischer-Tropsch methods.

"If gasification and Fischer-Tropsch can be commercialized [on a large scale] in the United States it would be a natural location to install those and expand the feedstock supply to this plant," Bigger said.

The $138 million facility is expected to receive $100 million in capital funding from Gulf Opportunity Zone Bonds previously approved by the Louisiana State Bond Commission. The balance of $38 million is being funded through equity contributions in the form of cash commitments in equal proportions from Tyson and Syntroleum.

Construction of the Dynamic Fuels plant, which started over a year ago, is on schedule and is expected to be completed by late next year with an expected production date sometime in early to mid 2010, Bigger said.

With Congress approving the extension of the biodiesel tax credit for one more year, Bigger said that Dynamic Fuels had its eyes on if it would be passed from the very beginning. The passing of the biodiesel tax credit weighed in on the company's decision to move forth with the project and has always played an integral role in the company's aggressive business strategy, according to Bigger.

"We watched the renewable fuel credit closely and we were pleased that the credit got extended for next year," he said. "Of course, this plant won't become operational until 2010 so having it extended beyond 2009 will be of keen interest to us."
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