Green Country Biodiesel finishes expansion

By | May 01, 2006
Two entrepreneurs recently completed another phase of their latest venture: Green Country Biodiesel Inc. in Chelsea, Okla. The capacity of the facility was expanded from 600,000 gallons per year to 2.5 MMgy; construction was completed in time for an April 1 production restart.

The company broke ground for the original facility in June 2005, began producing biodiesel in August and started construction of the expansion in December 2005.
David Allen and Scott Williams are the brains behind the facility. Williams, who had previously owned several small companies, was contemplating starting a biodiesel plant on his own when he introduced Allen to biodiesel. Allen started making biodiesel for his own use; he became interested in partnering with Williams when he discovered the untapped market in Oklahoma.

The partners thoroughly researched other biodiesel plants and used their backgrounds in engineering, as well as pneumatic and hydraulic technologies, to design the plant. They also worked with a DuPont chemical engineer. The plant combines two processes into one hybrid, called continuous-flow batch. Allen described this process as having multiple reactions and innovative wash cycles.

Allen and Williams also used their venture capital experience to fund the plant. They received the first USDA loan regarding rural development, which Allen said they used for capital expenses. Beyond that, they financed the project with their own capital. "For us small entrepreneurs, we're working with what we have," Allen said.

The company has plans to increase capacity as demand grows. Currently, the company does not see a lack of demand. "Everything we can make is already sold," Allen said. He postulated that Fuel Marketers Corporation would market the plant's biodiesel throughout Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Green Country Biodiesel is in discussions with state and local governments to put in the necessary rail, land and infrastructure to expand its facility to 30 MMgy in the future. "We're taking it one step at a time," Allen said.
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