The Renewable Energy Group (REG) celebrated the official opening of the REG Albert Lea biodiesel plant in Minnesota on Monday, with representatives of the state and local community and agriculture industry.
REG President and COO Dan Oh says they were involved in the construction and operations of the plant when it originally was built and opened by SoyMor. “We have worked together since 2003,” said Oh. The plant unfortunately got caught up in the economic issues that hit the renewable fuels industry back in 2008 and had to shut down, but REG felt it was a significant plant that needed to get back in operation, so they worked to make it happen for the local economy. “Think of a gallon of biodiesel in roughly every bushel of soybeans, this is a 30 million gallon biodiesel facility, so that really adds value back to a bean bushel,” Oh said.
Listen to or download interview with Dan Oh here. REG President Dan Oh
Representatives of the Minnesota soybean industry were on hand today for the grand opening, including Jim Willers, who is a farmer from Beaver Creek and a director on the United Soybean Board, as well as a member of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. After touring the plant, Willers said he was impressed with the shape it is in after being shut down for three years. “I found out that it was in excellent condition when they closed it down and the start up was way better than they thought,” he said. “It’s a state of the art facility and in six months they’re going to be a BQ-9000 plant.”
Listen to or download interview with Jim Willers here. Minnesota soybean farmer Jim Willers
Watch the ribbon cutting below and see photos in the REG Albert Lea biodiesel plant photo album