Innovative Tennessee plant breaks ground

By | January 01, 2006
Developers of a unique Tennessee biodiesel project have aspirations of becoming the state's largest commercial biodiesel producer. Construction on Agri Energy Inc., a 5 MMgy plant in Lewisburg, Tenn., is well underway, according to Chairman and CEO Michael Tarr. The plant is the first in a series of 5 MMgy facilities Tarr intends to develop at the site.
Construction on the facility began in late November. Concrete work began in early December with completion of the main building work expected by year's end. Tarr said Agri Energy, which is providing all in-house technology, construction and engineering, uses proprietary technology that allows a facility to be built in as little as 45 days. He said the project was developed after working with Green Bay, Wis.-based biodiesel producer Renewable Alternatives.

The Agri Energy plant site is in a "logistically perfect location" on 41 acres of land in Lewisburg's industrial development area, according to Tarr. Besides having nearby rail and highway access, the site is also 60 miles south of Nashville. Tarr said there are several major soybean crushers within 40 miles of the site. The plant, which can produce a batch of fuel in three days, will use crude degummed soybean oil as its primary feedstock, Tarr said.

Agri Energy will be marketing its own biodiesel, much of which is already locked up in bulk sales contracts with regional users.

Tarr expects the plant to start up in late January. He told Biodiesel Magazine the plant is the first of 20 such facilities planned for the site. The approach of having a large facility consisting of multiple production modules will allow Agri Energy to use multiple feedstocks and apply new technology easily, Tarr said.
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