Allegro to acquire fuel terminal, receive jatropha shipment

By Jessica Ebert | April 15, 2008
As part of its efforts toward vertical integration, Allegro Biodiesel Corp., a Los Angeles-based biodiesel producer and distributor, has signed a binding letter of agreement to partner with an investor group for the acquisition, development and operation of the sole liquid terminal at the Port of Alexandria in Louisiana.

The joint venture formed by Allegro and the unnamed investor group has signed a 40-year lease of riverfront property with the Alexandria Port Authority. In addition, the venture plans to acquire 22 acres of adjacent land with existing liquid-terminal infrastructure, including 5 million gallons of tank storage and a fuel rack.

The port lies on the Red River, a tributary to the Mississippi River, and is approximately 20 miles from the 12 MMgy biodiesel plant that Allegro operates in Pollock, La. By developing this terminal at the port, the company should significantly reduce the costs associated with the production and sale of biodiesel.

In separate news, the company announced it would receive and begin processing its first shipment of crude jatropha oil from Global Clean Energy Holdings Inc., a Los Angeles-based biofuel feedstock development company, at its production facility in Pollock.

Global Clean Energy and Allegro have a testing and processing agreement for the production of biodiesel from jatropha oil. "This is a very strategic agreement with Allegro," said Richard Palmer, president and chief executive officer of Global Clean Energy. "It is a very well-respected processor and distributor of biodiesel and has considerable experience in utilizing a wide range of different feedstocks in its production process. It is logistically well-located in Louisiana and can accept large shipments of jatropha oil from us through
various Gulf of Mexico ports."

The resulting biodiesel will be tested by Allegro to ensure it meets ASTM International and European Committee for Standardization specs. Samples will also be sent to independent labs for a full series of ASTM testing. Allegro will evaluate the feedstock and final product for blending with its current feedstock soy oil in an effort to reduce the company's future production costs and improve its profit margin. "The [Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007] mandates the greater development of biofuel resources at a time when competition for feedstocks has increased key commodity prices," said Bruce Comer, CEO of Allegro. "Jatropha oil and other alternative feedstock choices represent the next chapter in biodiesel fuel production. Given recent price spikes for soy, canola and palm [oil], we believe alternate nonfood-based feedstocks will be essential to growth in the biodiesel industry. We are confident that jatropha oil will blend well with other feedstocks to produce a high-grade biodiesel while addressing the ongoing concern of utilizing food for fuel."
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