Iowa Producer Revives California Plant for Low-Carbon Biodiesel

Cindy Zimmerman

WIE president Brad Wilson and Iowa Biodiesel‘s Grant Kimberley

An Iowa biodiesel producer recently celebrated the re-opening of a shuttered California plant to manufacture a cleaner-burning biofuel that will help meet California’s low carbon fuel demands.

Western Iowa Energy (WIE) in Wall Lake recently purchased Agron Bioenergy, a biodiesel production facility in Watsonville, California that was idled in 2016. This marks the first time WIE has expanded its operations outside of the state of Iowa.

“The Low Carbon Fuel Standard has made California the epicenter for biodiesel demand, and that drove our decision to expand outside of Iowa,” said Brad Wilson, WIE president and general manager. “Our access to affordable agricultural materials that score low on carbon intensity and our desire to participate in the growing California biodiesel market made this facility purchase a good business decision.”

Watsonville City Council Members and a Santa Cruz County Supervisor were among the local dignitaries who attended. “The reopening of the Agron plant represents an opportunity to expand the city and state’s commitment to the environment and economy, and we’re proud to be a part of that,” said Bill Horan, WIE chairman.

The Iowa plant has the capacity to produce 45 million gallons of biodiesel per year and the Agron facility can produce 15 million gallons per year.

Biodiesel, Low Carbon Fuel Standard