Riverside, Calif., plant temporarily on hold

SSPC signed Lurgi PSI to build the proposed 30-mmgy plant
By Tom Bryan | January 28, 2004
Due to issues related to project financing, Southern States Power Company has had to postpone its plan to build a 30-mmgy biodiesel plant in Riverside, Calif., a spokesperson for the company recently told Biodiesel Magazine.

"The project isn't dead," said Andrew Beyer, SSPC director of communications. "There are just a lot of uncertainties right now-in terms of the financing, and in terms of market demand."

Last year, SSPC signed Lurgi PSI Inc., a technology-driven biofuel plant contractor located in Memphis, Tenn. The two companies partnered with the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the construction of a 30-mmgy biodiesel plant near Riverside, Calif. Lurgi signed to provide preliminary process engineering for the continuous/fixed production facility using a Lurgi production process for refined soybean oil. Lurgi PSI's scope of services for the engineering phase included plant layouts, process design, site plan drawings, process flow diagrams, equipment lists and process drawings.

A short time later, SSPC announced that it had formed a company called Agua Mansa Bioenergy LLC to coordinate the development of the plant. Agua Mansa Bioenergy would, according to SSPC, oversee planning, construction and all other facets of the proposed plant.

SSPC announced that it planned to build the facility on 7.73 acres of land located in the Agua Mansa Enterprise and Recycling Market Development Zone in Riverside. The zoning designation would have qualifed the plant for state subsidy financing programs.

EXL Group LLC and Impact Capital Management LLP were named as participants in Agua Mansa Bioenergy LLC. Last year, a spokesperson for SSPC said the EXL Group has extensive experience in developing and operating industrial facilities, including chemical process facilities, making it an ideal partner in Agua Mansa Bioenergy.

SSPC previously identified a source of funding as Impact Capital Management, a private equity and venture capital firm with investment funds sponsored by three major financial institutions.

If built, the plant would have the capacity to produce 30 mmgy of fuel-grade biodiesel that meets both ASTM specifications and German DIN specifications. The project, valued at about $15 million, is based on a state-of-the-art Lurgi Life Science technology (Frankfurt, Germany) and would use up-to-date environmental control systems.

The plant would be the second biodiesel project SSPC has been involved with. SSPC was involved as a investment company in Imperial Western Products, a "small-budget" ethanol project in Cochella Valley, Calif.

SSPC plans to develop additional biodiesel production facilities in the United States, and has stated previously that Lurgi PSI will participate in these projects.
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