Buffalo Biodiesel completes N.Y. plant expansion

By Bryan Sims | April 15, 2009
Buffalo Biodiesel Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of HydroGenetics Inc., has completed the expansion capacity of its waste vegetable oil processing facility in Tonawanda, N.Y., from 1 MMgy to 5 MMgy.

According to Sumit Majumdar, president of Buffalo Biodiesel, the expansion project took approximately two months to complete. Buffalo Biodiesel, which collects and renders yellow grease from restaurants within the New York and Pennsylvania areas, has the capability to produce 5 MMgy of biodiesel at its facility in Tonawanda; however, the plant is currently producing approximately half the volume of its maximum rate due to lack of demand for the biofuel along with competing demand for bio heating oil use in the Northeast, according to Majumdar.

"There really is no demand [for biodiesel] at a price higher than heating oil," he said. "Right now we need to push more volume [of biodiesel]. Until the fuel prices go up, every biodiesel producer will continue to sit on the sidelines for now."

Mujumdar said that the expansion of Buffalo Biodiesel's feedstock processing segment will allow the company to enter into contract negotiations with current biodiesel producers who are interested in buying its rendered yellow grease as feedstock for biodiesel production. At press time, Mujumdar didn't disclose potentially interested parties for its feedstock.

"The feedstock we would sell to producers, they could turn it into a profit," Mujumdar said. "Right now, yellow grease is probably the preferred feedstock of choice for biodiesel production, along with maybe choice white grease as well."

HydroGenetics acquired Buffalo Biodiesel in January, marking its initial entry into the biodiesel sector. Prior to being acquired by HydroGenetics, New Jersey-based AgriFuel Co. had gained a 52.5 percent stake in Buffalo Biodiesel in 2007.
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