Rising Soybean Prices Idle Delaware Biodiesel Plant

John Davis

midatlanticbiodiesel.jpgThe high cost of soybeans, brought on by the popularity of biodiesel, has forced another biodiesel plant to stop operations while waiting for prices to subside.

This story in the Salisbury (MD) Daily Times says the Mid-Atlantic Biodiesel plant in Clayton, Delaware has had to quit producing biodiesel:

The Mid-Atlantic Biodiesel facility has the capacity to refine up to 6 million gallons of biodiesel fuel per year. The plant opened in September 2006, but the rising price of soybean oil forced the plant to halt production this spring .

The plant began production with nearly $1 million in state and federal grants and a $5 million loan from the Delaware Energy Office. Company president Martin Ross says the company has kept its loan payments up-to-date.

Ross says soybean oil is currently priced too high to make biodiesel production profitable.

This news comes just about a month after an Evansville, Wisconsin biodiesel plant had to suspend operations because of high soybean prices (see my November 17th post “The Vicious Cycle of Irony”).