Plans are being announced to open a biodiesel plant in southeast Nebraska where construction was finished in 2008, but operations were never launched.
Michael Harris, a biofuels manager with Flint Hills Resources, says they’ve purchased the former Beatrice Biodiesel plant.
“Our project is to finish, fix and retrofit construction of the biodiesel plant to make it feedstock-flexible and to produce around 50-million gallons of biodiesel a year, employing approximately 44 folks,” Harris says. The goal is to launch operations in mid-2015.
Flint Hills Resources, a subsidiary of Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries, formed a joint venture with Benefuel, Incorporated and the Beatrice facility will be known as Duonix Beatrice.
Flint Hills operates five ethanol plants in Iowa and one at Fairmont, Nebraska. Harris says the biodiesel that will be produced by Duonix will have a lower sulfur output and it should be cost-effective.
“We look to increase the output by converting a higher percentage of feedstock free fatty acids to biodiesel,” he says. “That’s really where we feel like this plant has an opportunity to be successful, in becoming feedstock flexible and employing an innovative technology to do that.”
Harris says the plant should not produce any significant odor and he says biodiesel is not flammable like gasoline or jet fuel so it’s less hazardous.
He says the plant will make use of truck and rail transportation for raw materials and product shipping. Harris expects about 30 trucks per day transporting feedstuff to the plant, and a Burlington-Northern Santa Fe railroad line is nearby.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice