One of the largest biodiesel plants in the country has restarted production in the Port of Grays Harbour, Washington State.
Imperium Renewables suffered a ruptured glycerine tank back in December at its facility, which has the capacity to produce around 100 million gallons of biodiesel each year.
But, the Seattle-based company said on Wednesday that production has resumed at the 12-acre site after a new glycerine system was installed.
“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.”
Built in 2007, the Grays Harbor plant produces biodiesel from canola oil produced locally in Washington, Oregon and nearby British Columbia. The company says its biodiesel reduces carbon emissions by 78% compared to petroleum-sourced diesel.
Imperium said that the first of more than 40 rail cars containing millions of gallons of the vegetable oil feedstock arrived on Monday.
The company said demand for biodiesel is increasing both regionally, where Imperium’s biodiesel is distributed and consumer, and nationally thanks to policies recommended by President Obama’s Biofuels Interagency Working Group.
Biofuels mandates came into force in Oregon back in 2009, while across the border in British Columbia, similar mandates took effect January 1, 2010.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has set the federal Renewable Fuel Standard to require consumption of 1.15 billion gallons of biodiesel in the US this year. This week, US Senate approved a retroactive extension of biodiesel tax incentives, which had 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 Mr 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.”