SD-based Harms Oil offers region biodiesel blends year-round

By The National Biodiesel Board | November 19, 2012

Biodiesel is now available year-round in southwestern Minnesota, eastern South Dakota and northwest Iowa. The South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Harms Oil Co., the National Biodiesel Foundation and Clean Cities have partnered to expand the availability of biodiesel in the region. Previously, biodiesel was only offered for seasonal blending.

Biodiesel, in its pure form, is regularly blended at temperatures above freezing, so it was not offered for blending during winter months. Through this joint effort, the Sioux Falls biodiesel blending facility at Harms Oil will now incorporate a heated tank to allow for year-round blending of the renewable fuel.

Biodiesel is a clean-burning fuel produced from a wide variety of renewable resources including soybeans, canola, animal fats and recycled cooking oil and is easily blended with traditional petroleum diesel. During winter months, biodiesel blends have been difficult to find for diesel fleets and fuel retailers in South Dakota and southwest Minnesota due to the absence of heated product storage tanks. Installation of this biodiesel-loading infrastructure will significantly improve the availability of biodiesel in the region year-round, as well as efficiently serve an increasing demand for renewable fuels.

“This facility will offer year-round service that hasn't been available from a fuel distributor before, plus they will be capable of supplying an underserved region of the country,” said Jim Willers, a soybean farmer from Beaver Creek, Minn., and chair of the Minnesota Biodiesel Council. “As a soybean producer, I'm excited that biodiesel will be more readily available to people who want it.”

“Biodiesel is America's first advanced biofuel, and I'm excited to have this domestic, renewable fuel available year-round in South Dakota,” said Bob Metz, soybean farmer from West Browns Valley, S.D. “This a great accomplishment for soybean farmers in the region, as well as an excellent opportunity for biodiesel customers.” Metz serves on the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and the National Biodiesel Board.

“Harms Oil is pleased to be a part of this important addition to our region's fuel supply infrastructure, making biodiesel readily available to our customers on a year-round basis,” said Jason Harms of Harms Oil. “We are happy to provide this expanded offering, and we thank our partners for their support of this project. The improved facility will continue to bring our country another small step toward energy independence and improved air quality. In addition, we will expand the current offering to local markets for an advanced biofuel produced right here in the Midwest.”

Harms Oil expects to complete the project in mid-November. A grand opening event is scheduled for Nov. 28 at the new biodiesel blending facility in Sioux Falls, S.D. Further details will be announced as they become available.

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