Minnesota plant breaks ground

By | May 01, 2004
The state's first biodiesel plant has begun construction. Gov. Tim Pawlenty visited the Minnesota Soybean Processors (MnSP) groundbreaking ceremony, which took place next to MnSP's soybean crushing facility on March 19.

"I am proud to be the governor of the unquestioned [state] leader of renewable fuels," Pawlenty said. "This is of tremendous importance to the economy."

The 30-mmgy biodiesel plant will cost $15 million with $7.2 million coming from farmer equity. If all goes well, it will come on line by July 2005.

Minnesota uses approximately 800 mmgy of diesel fuel. By July 2005, state legislators may mandate a B2 biodiesel blend, which totals 16 mmgy of biodiesel fuel. State biodiesel producers hope to be able to meet at least half of that demand.

Two other biodiesel projects are moving forward in Minnesota. Near Redwood, Central Byproducts is in the engineering and installation phase through July. The 3-mmgy plant will start using vegetable oil as a feedstock and then switch to an economical feedstock after winter. The facility, to be designed by Lurgi PSI, is scheduled to come on line in October. SoyMor, near Albert Lee, is in the final stages of fundraising. In May, the Freeborn County Board voted to give the project JOBZ tax exemption totaling up to $5 million over the next 12 years. Renewable Energy Group will design and build the 30-mmgy facility, scheduled to open in May 2005. It will use soybean oil as a feedstock.
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