Bio-Venta Latvia plant begins production

By Ryan C. Christiansen | January 15, 2009
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Web exclusive posted Jan. 28, 2009, at 10:33 a.m. CST

Bio-Venta Ltd. has begun producing biodiesel at its 30 MMgy biodiesel plant in Ventspils, Latvia, according to the facility's construction and design company, BioDiesel International AG of Graz, Austria.

BioDiesel International said the €85 million ($110 million) facility is capable of producing biodiesel using a variety of feedstocks, including waste vegetable oil, but will mainly use rapeseed acquired from the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, as well as Ukraine, Belorussia, and Kazakhstan. The plant, which includes crop storage facilities and an oilseed press, will process approximately 100,000 metric tons of rapeseed per year.

Bio-Venta will produce its European Norm EN14214-certified biodiesel mainly for export to Statoil ASA of Norway. The export accounts for approximately 1.5 percent of all Latvian exports, BioDiesel International said.

In addition to biodiesel, the plant will also produce 9,000 metric tons of pharmaceutical-grade glycerin, 65,000 tons of colza cake, and 1,600 tons of potassium fertilizers, according to Bio-Venta. The rapeseed cake pellets can be used as high-protein animal food and as fuel for producing steam at the plant.

The four-hectare (10-acre) Bio-Venta facility includes holding tanks with a capacity of 24,000 cubic meters (6.3 million gallons); the site also includes a fueling station and ship loading terminal, according to Bio-Venta.

Bio-Venta Ltd. was founded in October 2004 and site preparation began in July 2006. BioDiesel International said the plant is similar to a BioDiesel International-designed plant that opened in Klaipeda, Lithuania, in November 2007.
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