A shuttered biodiesel plant in Nebraska has been brought to life.
The Duonix Beatrice facility in Gage County has begun full operation.
The plant is a joint project of Flint Hills Resources and Benefuel, and the first successful commercial-scale application of a technology that converts a variety of feed stocks into biodiesel.
Beatrice Mayor Stan Wirth calls the project a job-creator.
“What I’m excited about is employing some 50 individuals,” Wirth tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KWBE in Beatrice. “They’re going to turn out about 50 million gallons of biodiesel on an annual basis. It’s great to see activity at a plant that’s been sitting idle since 2008.”
Construction on the plant began in 2008, but was never finished and went through bankruptcy.
Flint Hills Resources bought it in 2011 and the joint venture was announced two-years later.
“They spent a good sum of money to retrofit that plant,” Wirth notes. “I think to the tune of about $100 million, so that tells me they are very committed to what they’re doing, very committed to staying in this community.”
Along with producing biodiesel, the plant will produce byproducts, including a food additive.
Flint Hills Resources operates an ethanol plant in Fairmont, Nebraska, as well as six others in Iowa and Georgia.
Doug Kennedy, KWBE-AM, contributed to this report.