This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 30, 2005

Company to Build Largest U.S. Biodiesel Plant in North Dakota

North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad announced on March 22nd that North Dakota Biodiesel Inc. plans to construct a $50 million biodiesel manufacturing plant in Minot, North Dakota, drawing on local canola crops as a source. The facility will be the largest biodiesel refinery in North America, able to produce 100,000 tons of premium biodiesel annually from more than 355,000 acres of canola. Construction on the plant is expected to begin in August, with the first sale of biodiesel products likely in December 2006. According to Senator Conrad, the new facility will pump millions of dollars into the local economy and produce hundreds of jobs. See the senator's press release.

Currently produced mainly from soybeans, biodiesel is gaining ground on a number of fronts. According to the National Biodiesel Board, the U.S. Department of the Navy is requiring all Navy and Marine non-tactical diesel vehicles to operate on B20—a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent diesel fuel—by June 1st. Volkswagen AG just extended warranty protection to U.S. vehicles for the use of blends containing up to 5 percent biodiesel, and is testing engines using B20. And John Deere committed in February to filling all its new U.S.-made diesel vehicles with B2, a blend containing 2 percent biodiesel. The company's first B2-filled tractors rolled out of its Waterloo, Iowa, assembly plant in early March. See the press releases from the National Biodiesel Board.