Agra Biofuels starts biodiesel production

By | February 01, 2006
On Jan. 7, representatives of Agra Biofuels Inc. presented Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell with a voucher, promising 10,000 gallons of biodiesel to Rendell's "Stay Warm Pennsylvania" initiative that supplies heating oil to low-income families. It was a positive first step for Pennsylvania's newest and largest biodiesel facility.

The plant was dedicated Jan. 10 with production soon to follow, according to Agra Biofuels spokesman Joe Benish. Located in a warehouse complex, it will produce up to 3 MMgy of soy-based biodiesel. Benish said the raw soy oil will be shipped to the plant by rail, and the finished biodiesel will be shipped out by rail and truck to fleets, blenders and home heating oil dealers within the state. This satisfies another of Rendell's initiatives, "American Energy Harvest."

The plant was built by company founders Don Coccia, CEO, and Bill Harnsberger, president. The company's future plans include building 10 additional biodiesel plants in Pennsylvania over the next five years. Each will produce between 20 MMgy and 30 MMgy. "Our ultimate goal is within five years to replace 50 percent of Pennsylvania's home heating oil needs," Benish told Biodiesel Magazine. "Pennsylvania is the No. 2 consumer of home heating oil in the country at about a billion gallons per year." Benish added New York is the No. 1 home heating oil consumer, using about a billion and a half gallons annually.
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