Another Abengoa plant has been sold. Natural Chem Group (NCG) has acquired the ethanol plant in Portales, New Mexico via a bidding process. The new owner has plans to re-purpose the facility into an Eco-Fuels Blend Terminal with the ability to produce 4.5 million gallons of B20 biodiesel each month. The biodiesel blend will be blended with diesel at the facility for use as a commercial transportation fuel.
Several years ago New Mexico passed a B5 mandate but has not enforced the legislation due to lack of local blending operations. Once the conversion is complete, NCG’s blending facility will be able to blend all the fuel to meet the mandate. The majority of vehicles in the state that will use the B5 include regional fleets and trucking companies.
“We look forward to beginning plant operations, creating jobs, providing revenue and boosting the local economy,” said Robert J. Salazar, Natural Chem’s CEO/President. “We envision multiple uses for our Portales facility involving renewable fuels and natural chemicals. We believe this will be a positive addition to Portales and the regional economy and help sustain the biofuels industry nationally,” added Salazar.
NCG acquired the property through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis. The sale was approved after Abengoa Bioenergy, a Spanish renewable energy firm, filed for Chapter 11 protection earlier this year.
The company is reporting it will pay an outstanding tax bill owed to Roosevelt County. Prior to the ethanol plant being shuttered in 2012, it was the only ethanol facility in the state.