Milagro Biofuels starts construction in Memphis

By | June 01, 2006
he redevelopment zone in Memphis, Tenn., will get a boost from Milagro Biofuels, a biodiesel company that plans to retrofit a cotton oil mill to produce biodiesel there.

Construction of a 5 MMgy modular unit began off-site in March; the 30-day installation process will commence July 1. The company will use a process technology that has no air emissions or effluent discharge. In addition to marketing to local fuel distributors, Milagro Biofuels will also offer a B99 blend to those clients that do not have a blending license, such as government entities.

Milagro Biofuels will follow a business model to open small plants in several communities throughout the South, where a base-load customer would be. "Our goal is to be an integral part of Tennessee's transition to alternative fuels, one community at a time," said President Diane Miller Mulloy.

They are already in discussions with other communities, but those may have to wait. "We're having so much interest in Memphis that we're thinking we might expand here first before we go to the next plant," Mulloy said. "We're very confident that we will have this plant sold out." There is enough space in the former cotton mill to expand the modular units to over 10 MMgy.
Milagro Biofuels Board Trustee Gary Meloni Jr. reiterated the strong community backing for the Memphis site. "In addition to the positive environmental impact, Milagro Biofuels will also bring much-needed manufacturing jobs back to Memphis," he said. "With the agricultural base of west Tennessee, northern Mississippi and Arkansas-in conjunction with the availability of the Mississippi River transportation-we believe that Milagro is in a perfect location to serve the mid-South community."

Mulloy became interested in biodiesel because of its environmental aspects. The mother of three told Biodiesel Magazine that she started Milagro Biofuels because she was looking to go back to work, and this project put her interest in the environment together with her background in government relations, sales and fundraising. In addition to Mulloy, there are two other investors in the project. One owns the building in which the facility will be housed, and the other is a biodiesel consumer.
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