Idle Nebraska Biodiesel Plant Looks to Start in 2015

John Davis

BenefuelA Nebraska biodiesel plant originally completed in 2007 but never opened could see new life next year. According to this story from the Beatrice (NE) Daily Sun, the new owners, Duonix Beatrice, a joint venture between Flint Hills Resources, which is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc., and Benefuel, Inc., have spent the last couple of years renovating the 50-million-gallons-per-year refinery.

The company hopes to begin operation in 2015 with a full-time staff of 44 workers producing 50 million gallons of biodiesel a year.

Michael Harris, Flint Hills Resources venture manager, said the company has been fixing and replacing equipment that was already out of date and is retrofitting the plant to be feedstock flexible and utilize ENSEL technology.

According to the company’s website, the ENSEL process streamlines production, eliminates waste and by-products and expands product capabilities to produce a biodiesel with enhanced cold weather properties and a high-grade glycerin that can sell for more than the biodiesel itself.

The renovations will allow the refinery to use cheaper feedstocks, such as corn oil from ethanol production, waste-vegetable oils, animal fats and unrefined oils to make biodiesel.