A $1.6 million grant from the state of Pennsylvania is helping a big biodiesel producer get even bigger.
HERO BX picked up the $1,640,250 million grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority and will use nearly $3.3 million of its own money to expand its operations from 45 million gallons to 55 million gallons a year:
“It is imperative that biofuels companies that are producing fuel today continue to receive financial support,” said Leonard Kosar, CEO of HERO BX. “The state of Pennsylvania is setting a precedent apart from the federal government and many other states – it has recognized the economic, environmental and security value of supporting biofuels companies that are already in production. We cannot and will not be able to produce the next generation of biodiesel and ethanol if we abandon first generation biofuels producers such as HERO BX.”
The grant was awarded as part of Governor Edward G. Rendell’s goal to increase alternative energy opportunities within the state. The funds, which will be distributed through Green Energy Works!, is part of the federal funding that the state will receive under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (Stimulus Bill). The program goal is to invest more than $99.6 million of federal funding to supplement the state’s Alternative Energy Investment Fund.
The company says Pennsylvania is ideal for its future plans as HERO BX is working with Penn State researchers to pioneer the use of camelina: a more sustainable oilseed than soybeans that can grow in sub-optimum soils, doesn’t need water or fertilizer and produces seven times more oil than soybeans. It also can be used in poultry feed. About 200,000 acres of old strip mines might be perfect for the weed feedstock.