It’s taken about a year and a half, but an Iowa plant that will make a key biodiesel production catalyst is about to open. This article from the Mason City Globe Gazette says the New Heaven Chemicals plant will start producing sodium methylate by Feb. 1, and be able to produce 24,000 metric tons of the liquid chemical per year.
“We decided to stop bringing it from outside,” said New Heaven Chemicals Director Prasad Devineni. “And, Iowa being one of the biggest biodiesel producing states, it made perfect sense to look at a plant right here.”
Manly was an especially attractive site for TSS Group because the main component of sodium methylate, methanol, is already stored at the Manly Terminal. Many biodiesel plants are also located in northern Iowa.
“Within 100 miles we have about 15 biodiesel companies and we can sell out completely, 100 percent production, within 100 miles,” Devineni said.
Demand for sodium methylate is so strong TSS Group decided during construction to reconfigure the original plans for the New Heaven Chemicals plant in order to increase the facility’s production capability.
The initial plan had been to produce 12,000 metric tons per year, but the company is now building a plant capable of producing 24,000 metric tons per year.
The company received several tax incentives and loan guarantees from the federal, state and local governments to help it get off the ground.