Central Florida Town Becoming Biodiesel Mecca

John Davis

A town in Central Florida is on track to become a vital center of biodiesel production, second only to an area around Houston Texas.

This story from the Orlando (FL) Business Journal says Groveland, about 30 miles west of downtown Orlando, is on track to have three biodiesel refineries up and running by the beginning of next year:

Together, the three Groveland plants — CleanFuel LLC, Southern Energy Holdings Inc. and Summit Biodiesel — represent a significant investment in the area: Southern Energy estimates its operation alone cost $5 million — and the three firms could create up to 100 jobs, paying a minimum of $15 an hour.

Dottie Keedy, director of the Lake County Department of Economic Growth & Redevelopment, said the jobs being created through the biodiesel companies are significant for the area.

The companies also have ambitious 2009 sales targets for their operations: Summit Biodiesel, $3.8 million; Southern Energy Holdings, $9 million; and CleanFuel, $120 million.

CleanFuel currently produces about a million gallons of biodiesel a year and expects to ramp that up soon to five to six million gallons a year. Southern Energy Holdings will open its 350,000-gallon-a-month plant next month with plans of increasing that output to 1 million gallons a month. Summit will open a 1-million-gallon-a-year refinery in the Groveland area next year.