North Carolina plant begins initial work

By | July 01, 2006
North Carolina can add another hopeful biodiesel project to its list of smaller-scale plants in the planning or construction phase. Tommy Evans of Evans Environmental Energies told Biodiesel Magazine his 3 MMgy project has started the initial construction process in an industrial park in Wilson, N.C., which is located approximately one hour east of Raleigh.

The project, which is slated to be complete in late 2006, is being placed in a new facility near an existing sweet potato processing plant, according to Evans. The project was initiated by Evans in mid-2005. The company was incorporated in January 2006 to build the biodiesel plant. Evans said a feasibility study was conducted and a business plan was written before the final go-ahead of the project. "I think there's a need for it," Evans said. "It's a win-win situation."

Initial work began at the site in May. The plant, which will handle multiple feedstocks, is based on a batch production design. Evans said an engineer was hired to help develop the process technology needed to produce biodiesel.

As of early June, Evans said initial dirt work was underway and a building permit was in hand. He told Biodiesel Magazine the company has spent considerable time lining up the necessary permits for the plant. Zoning changes were needed to approve building the facility. Evans said local regulatory officials had to add biodiesel to its regular use permit.
The biodiesel plant is designed to easily expand upon completion. Evans said his company has an option on the site immediately adjacent to the plant. He did say the lack of railroad infrastructure near the biodiesel plant will be a limiting factor in possible future expansions.

North Carolina has several biodiesel plants in the planning or construction stages. Piedmont Biofuels Industrial is in the midst of building a 1 MMgy facility in Pittsboro, N.C. Filter Specialty Bioenergy LLC is building a 1.6 MMgy plant near Autryville. The Grain Growers Cooperative Inc. has also been exploring a 30 MMgy plant near Mount Olive, N.C.
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