Paseo-Cargill Energy celebrates grand opening

By Susanne Retka Schill | February 11, 2008
Ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held in early January at the Paseo-Cargill Energy biodiesel plant in Kansas City, Mo. At press time, a Cargill Inc. spokesman said the plant was expected to begin production in late February or early March. More than 300 people attended the event, which was held in conjunction with the first annual meeting of the plant's majority owner Paseo Biofuels LLC.

More than 650 Missouri farmers purchased shares in Paseo Biofuels, which announced the beginning of its equity drive in August 2006. The company raised $24 million and made Missouri farmers the majority owners of a joint venture with Cargill to build the 40 MMgy biodiesel plant and a 30 million-pound, food-grade glycerin refinery. The biodiesel plant will use soybean oil as the feedstock and expects to meet BQ-9000 certification. The glycerin refinery will produce U.S. Pharmacopeia-grade, 99.7 percent pure, kosher-certified glycerin. The production facilities were built adjacent to Cargill's existing soybean processing facility in Kansas City. Cargill's grain and oilseed business operates 17 oilseed processing facilities in North America.

"Missouri soybean farmers took the lead in biodiesel research over a decade ago with their very own checkoff dollars," said Dale Ludwig, executive director of the Missouri Soybean Association at the ribbon cutting. "Since that initial investment, these producers have contributed to the goal of furthering biodiesel production here in Missouri with the help of a great team of legislators. New production facilities such as Paseo-Cargill Energy are helping to push Missouri to the forefront of the nation's renewable fuels industry." More than 50 percent of Missouri soybean farmers use biodiesel in their operations.
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