Biodiesel plant in Beatrice set to open later this year with retrofitting on schedule

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BEATRICE, Nebraska — Production is expected to begin at a biodiesel plant in Beatrice later this year now that a massive retrofitting is underway and on schedule.

The plant was built in 2007 and purchased in late 2011 by Duonix Beatrice, a joint venture between Benefuel Inc. and Flint Hills Resources, which is a subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc.

The number of contractors on site each day is expected to increase about threefold this summer, according to Michael Harris, Flint Hills Resources venture manager for the project.

"There are quite a few contractors on site at 70-100 daily with a total head count increasing to 200-250 around May or July," he said.

The company's goal is to begin production in the second half of this year and to produce 50 million gallons of biodiesel, Harris told the Beatrice Sun (http://bit.ly/1GBkbJ6).

Retrofitting has been underway at the plant for about two years to make it feedstock flexible and able to utilize ENSEL technology. The purpose of the ENSEL process is to streamline production, eliminate waste and byproducts, allow the use of cheaper feedstocks high in free fatty acids and expand the capabilities of products to produce a biodiesel with enhanced cold-weather properties.

The company already has begun hiring contractors and employees to work at the plant, Harris said. Nearly 50 additional employees will be hired when the plant is operational.


Information from: Beatrice Sun, http://www.beatricedailysun.com

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