Lincoln Energy Solutions adds biodiesel infrastructure in SC

By Erin Voegele | April 20, 2012

Transloading company and biofuel supplier Lincoln Energy Solutions is adding new biodiesel and ethanol storage capacity at the company’s Belton, S.C., facility. Upgrades, which are expected to be complete by the end of May, include the addition of 400,000 gallons of biodiesel storage capacity, 1.5 million gallons of ethanol storage capacity and a 225,000-gallon water tank that is being built as part of foam fire suppression system for tank fire protection.

According to Jim Farish, the company’s CEO, Lincoln Energy Solutions entered the biodiesel transload and resale business in March 2011. Sales have grown dramatically since that time, Farish said. The company currently transloads biodiesel at a secondary location where it can accommodate up to 15 railcars. That location transloads biodiesel from tankcar to truck. The upgrades at the Belton location will allow biodiesel to be more quickly transloaded to the new storage tank. The expansion will also feature a rail line expansion to allow for six additional biodiesel railcars. “We wanted to be able to store biodiesel and distribute it out of our Belton hub to numerous splash blend sites that we have for biodiesel,” Farish said.

The new biodiesel storage tanks will not feature heating elements. According to Farish, the temperature in Belton rarely falls to temperatures that would warrant heating. However, the tanks have been painted black to absorb radiant heat.

The upgrades for ethanol expedite the off-loading process for unit trains. The location will now be able to transload an 80-car unit train in 24 hours, which is half the time it took to transload from train to truck. The result will be quicker and more efficient turns.

 “This is an important project for us because the entire off-loading process will be expedited, which means faster biofuel delivery to meet customer demand,” Farish said. “The addition of the storage tanks gives us an overall efficiency boost from the time the tank cars arrive on the rail and the fuel is off-loaded to our tanks, to when our trucks bring product to our customers.”

According to Farish, Lincoln Energy Solutions operates a total of seven transload facilities in the region, including one in Tennessee, three in North Carolina, two in South Carolina, and one in Georgia. He said that his company hopes to add biodiesel transloading capacity to its Greensboro, N.C., site this spring. That site currently features ethanol transloading capacity. 


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