World's Largest Biodiesel Plant Slated for Indiana

March 22, 2006

Photo of a bus with a large graphic of soybeans on its side and the words 'Soybean Powered: This Bus Runs on Soybean BioDiesel.'

All diesel vehicles can burn diesel blends containing a small percentage of biodiesel, but with simple modifications, vehicles like this bus can also run on pure biodiesel.
Credit: Nebraska Soybean Board

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels announced early in March that Louis Dreyfus Agriculture Industries LLC plans to build the world's largest biodiesel plant near Claypool, about 40 miles west of Fort Wayne. The facility will be one of the first biodiesel production plants to be fully integrated with a soybean processing plant, converting about 260,000 metric tons of soybean oil into 80 million gallons of biodiesel each year. Eighty-five ongoing jobs will be created at the plant, and about 300 people will be employed during the plant's construction. See the governor's press release.

Two other biodiesel plants are currently under construction in the state. Evergreen Renewables LLC is building a plant in Hammond, in the state's northwest corner, that will soon begin producing 5 million gallons of biodiesel per year, and Integrity Biofuels is building a plant in Morristown, just east of Indianapolis, to produce 10 million gallons of biodiesel per year. With these three facilities, Indiana alone will produce 95 million gallons of biodiesel per year. For comparison, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) recently noted that the entire industry produced 75 million gallons of biodiesel in 2005, which itself was a three-fold increase in production over 2004. Clearly, the industry is growing rapidly. See the Evergreen Renewables press release, the Integrity Biofuels Web site, and the NBB press release.

A number of other companies plan to further fuel the rapid expansion of the biodiesel industry. Mean Green Biofuels Corporation, part of GreenShift Corporation, plans to build facilities in northeast Indiana and western Tennessee that would each produce 30 million gallons of biodiesel per year. Pennsylvania's first biodiesel plant began producing 2 to 3 million gallons of biodiesel per year in January. The owner, AGRA Biodiesel Inc., plans to build 10 more plants over the next five years that combined will produce more than 200 million gallons of biodiesel per year. In addition, Ag Processing, Inc. is planning a 28-million-gallon biodiesel plant in St. Joseph, Missouri, that will start production in late 2007, and NewGen Technologies, Inc. is planning a 60-million-gallon biodiesel plant in Fairfield, Iowa. But not all the news is positive: in February, a fire destroyed the Bakersfield Biodiesel Plant in California, which was partly owned by Green Star Products, Inc. See the press releases from GreenShift Corporation on the plans for Indiana and Tennessee and the press releases from the State of Pennsylvania, Ag Processing (PDF 23 KB), NewGen Technologies, and Green Star. Download Adobe Reader.