32 mmgy proposed North Dakota plant to use canola

By | April 01, 2005
A project two years in the making is expected to give North Dakota the largest biodiesel production facility in North America once completed, according to officials with North Dakota Biodiesel Inc. A $50 million, 32 mmgy biodiesel plant is expected to begin construction this August at a greenfield site near Minot, N.D.

The announcement was made at the Energy Security Summit held March 21-22 at the University of North Dakota's Energy and Environmental Research Center in Grand Forks, N.D. "This is the beginning of something big," Sen. Kent Conrad said. "This is something that could make a profound difference for the energy security for our nation and the economic security of our state."

Skip Hauth, executive director of BioEconomy Partners, said funding is in place for the project that could begin producing biodiesel in late 2006. He said the plant would use about 355,000 acres of canola. The North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU) will be involved in procuring canola supplies for the plant, said Ken Astrup, NDFU's director of cooperative services.

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson said the state raises more than 90 percent of the nation's canola supply. The plant is expected to use roughly one-third of the state's canola production. Bordering Canadian provinces will fulfill additional demand. "I think this is an industry poised for explosive growth for lots of reasons," Johnson said.

Hauth told Biodiesel Magazine the plant would use a continuous flow design based on European rapeseed-to-biodiesel technology. Grand Island, N.Y.-based Biodiesel Management Inc. will construct the facility. Uhde, a ThyssenKrupp Technologies company in Germany, has been retained as the general contractor.

The plant is expected to produce biodiesel that meets German DIN standards, which are more stringent than current ASTM standards, according to Hauth.

"This will be the biodiesel hub of North America," said Falk Beindorff, representative for Biodiesel Holding Ltd., a Delaware-based investor group. He said the group is considering pursuing other plants in the state. Hauth told Biodiesel Magazine that an additional plant would likely be around 30 mmgy.

"I hope this is the first announcement of many," Conrad said.
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