Purada Processing boosts capacity

By | December 01, 2005
Massachusetts-based World Energy Alternatives has invested close to $2 million in upgrading its Lakeland, Fla., biodiesel plant since its acquisition of the facility in 2004. World Energy's wholly owned subsidiary, Purada Processing LLC, manages the plant.

"We are doing a rehabilitation of the plant in a phased development effort," Gene Gebolys, president and CEO of World Energy, said of the 8-year-old plant. The rehabilitation will be completed in three phases. Construction work for all three phases will be done while the plant is up and running. World Energy has completed the first phase, is nearing completion of phase two and has already started on the final phase.

The first phase involved updating plant safety features and environmental qualifications. Phase two involves improving the facility's efficiency by adding larger storage tanks, pumps, new equipment and more staff. The third and final stage will be increasing the plants production capacity. Next year, World Energy plans to have the plant producing 30 MMgy, up from its original nameplate of 18 MMgy. "By the time we are finished revamping, the original engineers won't even recognize the facility," Gebolys said.

The facility may take on a new look-and capacity-but its essential production process will remain the same. The plant will continue to produce biodiesel from a large variety of mixed feedstocks ranging from corn, soy and canola oils, to poultry fat and waste vegetable oils.

World Energy has not officially announced a completion date for the "rehabilitation" process but expects to finish sometime in mid-2006. "There have been constant improvements since 2004, and they are ongoing," Gebolys said. Gebolys also said, once completed, this will most likely be the final expansion the plant will see.
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