Beatrice Mayor Stan Wirth says the Duonix plant will run a series of tests over the next few months, including one that may sound like a jet engine.
“As part of these tests, the community may hear a noise,” Mayor Wirth says. “It’s called a blow down. It is the venting of high-pressure gas or water, a routine procedure in this industry to check the integrity of all of the piping work.”
That blow-down may last for several minutes at a time, though plant officials say they will try to only do that test during the daytime.
Wirth says residents may also notice steam coming from the plant’s smoke stacks, while another test involves flare gas recovery.
“It’s basically a safety mechanism that reduces the pressure and maintains a balance in their industrial system and there could be a bright flame that is visible from the plant for a brief time,” he says.
The plant is owned by Flint Hills Resources, a subsidiary of Wichita-based Koch Industries. About 45 people will be employed at the Duonix facility.
Crews have been retrofitting the former Beatrice Biodiesel facility to use various materials to make biodiesel. The original facility never opened after going bankrupt under former ownership.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice