High interest shown in new plants

By | January 28, 2004
As biodiesel becomes more mainstream, some companies are starting to test the water of the alternative fuel industry.

In Idaho, where modern biodiesel was originally developed, the Idaho Biodiesel Initiative Steering Committee has asked Intrepid Technology and Resources Inc. to prepare a grant application for a $480,000 biodiesel plant feasibility study. The proposal was submitted to the USDA, said Intrepid Technology and Resources representative Dennis Keiser. He hoped to hear a response in early December.

"The next step would be to organize a team of farmers and experts to work with us in laying out requirements for building a biodiesel industry," Keiser told Biodiesel Magazine. "We think we have a good handle on those requirements."

The Idaho-based plant proposal includes the evaluation of oilseed crops from Idaho, Utah and Washington.

"The first thing we have to do is find out if farmers would be interested in growing feedstock such as canola and safflower to fire up the plant," Keiser said. "Then we'll have to find out what the energy bill will say in regards to subsidies of biodiesel."

According to Intrepid's grant application, the planned 10-mmgy plant would require an additional 100,000 acres of oilseed production. The venture would support 400 producer-owners.
l In Wisconsin, Global Engineered Systems Inc. has emerged, planning to fabricate equipment for biodiesel production and, in the future, produce th
e alternative fuel at its own plant.

Company President William Stone said biodiesel matters will be handled under the sub-company Global Edge.

"We're currently trying to get some investors," Stone told Biodiesel Magazine. "At the moment, we're privately funding this."

Stone said one unique facet of Global Engineered Systems will be the company's on-site fabrication facility, which will make piping, liquid storage tanks, grain handling equipment, automated equipment and more. Making its own equipment will save the company money when it builds its own plant.
lIn Fargo, N.D., a group of soybean farmers has formed the North Dakota Biodiesel Steering Committee. The 12-member alliance held its first meeting in September and is currently conducting a feasibility study for a biodiesel plant in the state, The Associated Press reported.

The closest biodiesel facility is in Ralston, Iowa, which is 470 miles south of Fargo. North Dakota produces about three million acres of soybeans per year.
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