Engineering News

Imperium Resumes Biodiesel Production
March 10, 2010

Imperium Renewables, one of the nation's largest producers of biodiesel, announced it has restarted production at its Grays Harbor, Wash., facility. The plant, which had paused production after a glycerin tank ruptured in December, is producing biodiesel from regionally grown canola to meet demand from British Columbia and Oregon.

"We are thrilled to be producing again," said John Plaza, founder and CEO of Imperium Renewables. "We have replaced the damaged equipment and re-designed the glycerin neutralization system to ensure such a rupture won't happen again."

The first of more than 40 rail cars containing millions of gallons of vegetable oil from canola grown in the Northwest arrived Tuesday at the Imperium Grays Harbor facility. Imperium will convert the oil into biodiesel, which has been shown to reduce carbon emissions by 78 percent compared to petroleum fuel. The fuel will be distributed and consumed within the Pacific Northwest as well, embodying the preferred approach recently recommended by President Obama's Biofuels Interagency Working Group.

Demand for biodiesel is increasing both regionally and nationally. Regionally, biodiesel mandates took effect January 1, 2010 in British Columbia and in 2009 in Oregon. In February, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its ruling on the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, which mandates the consumption of 1.15 billion gallons of biodiesel nationally in 2010. Yesterday, the Senate invoked cloture on Baucus Substitute amendment to H.R. 4213, which among other things, would provide a one year, retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax incentive which expired in December 2009.

"I want to recognize the leadership of Senator Baucus and the 65 other Senators, including Senator Cantwell and Senator Murray who support his amendment," said Plaza. "Extending the biodiesel tax credit along with implementing the full volumes of RFS2 will allow us to continue to expand production, hire additional employees at our plant, and add much needed revenue to the state of Washington."

Founded in 2005, Seattle-based Imperium Renewables owns and operates a production facility in Grays Harbor County with a nameplate capacity of 100 million gallons per year. It is the largest BQ-9000 certified production facility in the United States and the second largest facility overall.

Source: Imperium Renewables

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