Carolina Biofuels starts production, expansion

By | June 01, 2006
Almost as soon as it was producing biodiesel, Carolina Biofuels LLC began construction to expand its capacity from 10 MMgy to 40 MMgy. The facility opened its doors March 7 and had an official kickoff when the first truckload was shipped March 14, said Bill Ayres, president of the joint venture between Ag BioEnergy LLC and Carolina Polymers LLC. Ayres is also a partner of Ag BioEnergy LLC in Austin, Texas.

The biodiesel plant is collocated on 28 acres with Carolina Polymers, which is an existing chemical processing and production facility. Ag BioEnergy is involved in the development of new projects and getting marketing set up. It is the managing and operational entity for Carolina Biofuels.

Construction took only two months to retrofit the facility for biodiesel production, according to Ayres. The next construction phase, which began in May, will take more time. Ayres said 40 MMgy production should start in January 2007. At press time, the company had some of the engineering done and was receiving bids for various components and parts. It is using a batch process to produce biodiesel from soy oil. Ayres told Biodiesel Magazine that the company intends to get BQ-9000 certified.

Carolina Biofuels has also entered into a joint venture with Verde Biofuels, which will market all of the plant's biodiesel. The first major customer is the The Spinx Company Inc., which operates over 78 convenience stores and supplies another 25 with fuel throughout North and South Carolina. The company has already converted 11 truck stops to dispense B20; it intends to convert all of its diesel stations in the future. A kickoff to celebrate the move to B20 was planned for June 1.
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