Maryland Biodiesel starts construction

By | May 01, 2006
In the first week of April, Central Iowa Energy LLC started construction on its site in Newton, Iowa. The project was a collaboration between a group of progressive Iowa farmers, a consulting group, directors of another Iowa biodiesel plant currently under construction and a local economic development group, according to Tobin Bush, project coordinator for Central Iowa Energy.

The consulting company, The Biodiesel Group, worked with the community and aided in site selection. It was seeking to build a plant identical to Western Iowa Energy in Wall Lake, Iowa, Bush said. In June 2005, Central Iowa Energy acquired a 32-acre site-previously owned by Jasper County Economic Development Corporation-that included rail access.

The limited liability company raised $3 million in seed capital. The equity drive kicked off in January, eventually topping $20 million. The remainder of the $50 million project will be made up by debt financing, Bush said.

At press time, Renewable Energy Group was on-site doing initial prep work. The company expects to begin production March 2007. The facility will use a continuous-flow process to produce biodiesel from multiple feedstocks, mainly soy oil and animal fats. Bush said West Central Cooperative will market the fuel-then, BQ-9000 accredited-throughout Iowa, but "it would be unrealistic to expect that all of it would be used in Iowa." In addition to biodiesel, about 9 percent of the facility's product will be glycerin, which will be sold into the existing glycerin market. Bush said there is also a small amount of feed fat that will go into poultry feed.
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