Plans for the state of Minnesota’s requirement that all diesel fuel be converted to at least 2% biodiesel have stalled because of slower-than-expected construction of a biodiesel processing plant. This puts the state short of the original production quota of 8-million gallons of pure biodiesel annually.
State law requires that the commissioner of agriculture certify that the state’s capacity for producing pure biodiesel exceeds 8-million gallons a year. The 2% rule goes into effect 30 days after the commissioner certifies that this capacity has been met.
The Soy Mor Biodiesel plant in Glenville, MN, missed its construction deadline, which has been pushed back to July from June 30. Once completed, the facility is expected to have an annual production capacity of 30-million gallons of pure biodiesel.
Meanwhile, Minnesota Soybean Processors says it is on track to complete the construction of its own biodiesel plant in Brewster, MN. This facility would add another 30-million gallons of pure biodiesel capacity for the state beginning Aug. 1.
This puts the two plants in a race to deliver the capacity quota that will enable enactment of the 2% biodiesel rule.
“Whichever plant comes on-line [first] will kick the Minnesota law into effect,” Ron Marr, manager of biodiesel for the Minnesota Soybean Processors, told Fleet Owner. “It puts the attention back on us, which is different since we weren’t…supposed to go on-line first.”
“Everyone is anticipating that the Soy Mor plant will go on-line first,” said Mike Youngerberg, fuel director for the Minnesota Soybean Growers Assn. “Both sides are working feverishly to get their plants functional.”
Currently, the state’s capacity is 3-million gallons, which is processed entirely by a facility run by the Farmers Union Marketing & Processing Assn. in Redwood Falls, MN.