Maryland Biodiesel Plant Resumes Re-Opening Plans

John Davis

Officials with a Maryland biodiesel plant, where a man was killed while working on bringing the idled refinery back on line in May, say they will continue to work to get the facility back in to production.

This story from the Delmarva Daily Times says Greenlight Biofuels held a town meeting in the Princess Anne community to reassure residents that the explosion had nothing to do with the production of biodiesel, and the plant’s design probably prevented any further casualties in the refinery and community:

“We are working on a plan to continue production,” Carol Walston, general manager at Greenlight, said in a marketing-style presentation at the monthly town meeting that touted a company-sponsored student scholarship program and an 11-member work force including several employees from the area. “We want to be a part of the Princess Anne community and we continue to talk about ways.”

Walston assured residents that Greenlight invested $8 million in engineering, design and other precautions to make the plant safe and underscored that the explosion that killed a contract worker and shook homes around the Hampden Avenue “was not related to the production process.”

“The building itself is incorporated with engineering and safety aspects,” Walston said, and distributed small vials of a near-transparent liquid — a manufactured biodiesel fuel product she said smelled of cooking oil. “(The building) did keep the community safe during the accident.”

The presentation was enough to prompt a majority of Town Commissioners to give Greenlight Biofuels a vote of confidence. The company will also create a community outreach project to educate residents and to ease tensions. No date has been set for the opening of the plant.