Seaport Biofuels installs blender pump

By Kris Bevill | April 15, 2008
In early February, Seaport Biofuels installed the nation's first biodiesel blender pump in Seattle. The fuel distributor, which has offered ASTM-spec biodiesel to retail consumers and commercial accounts for years, now offers consumers the choice of B20, B50 or B99 with the simple push of a button.

Seaport Vice President of Finance Travis Paulson said sales from the multi-blend biodiesel dispenser have increased every week since installing the pump. "Sales are going through the roof," he said. "We're just trying to keep up." Most of Seaport's new biodiesel blender business is coming from word-of-mouth references, he said.

The company decided to offer B20, B50 and B99 for specific reasons. Average customers are more willing to use lower blends of biodiesel such as B20. B50 is a good choice for wintertime use when B99 would become too thick to run in vehicles. B99 is "for the diehards," Paulson said, or in other words, loyal customers who have used biodiesel for some time and prefer the highest percentage possible. Seaport customers who use B99 aren't just fueling vehicles but are also using it for home heating, off-road vehicles and other applications. Seaport has been fueling its own 12-truck fleet with B99 for the past four years.

Of the three blends now being offered at Seaport, Paulson said B50 has been the top seller. "We installed [the pump] at the tail-end of winter, and we kind of counted on that happening," he said.

The company isn't releasing the name of the pump manufacturer, but Paulson said more blender pumps may open in the near future. Seaport has been working with a few other local biodiesel retailers to provide biodiesel customers across the state with additional biodiesel blender pump locations.
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