Hero BX buys South Roxana, Illinois, biodiesel plant at auction

By Ron Kotrba | August 07, 2018

Lake Erie Biofuels, doing business as Hero BX, has acquired a 12 MMgy biodiesel plant at auction.

Hero BX President Chris Peterson told Biodiesel Magazine the company just closed on purchasing the former Midwest Biodiesel Products facility located in South Roxana, Illinois, which was auctioned this summer by Maas Companies Inc.

“It is offline and not producing currently,” Peterson said. “After we complete our redesign and rebuild, we anticipate it being 15 million gallons of multifeedstock production. We are in the process of updating the process design to capture and implement our proven production layouts and knowledge.”

Peterson said once upgrades are complete, he expects commercial operations to start early next year.  

“We’re going to be operating it as Lake Erie Biofuels because it is easier to modify existing licenses and registrations,” Peterson said, “but we will likely refer to the facility as ‘HERO BX Illinois.’”

According to Peterson, Hero BX founder and CEO Pat Black has a vision to develop a larger footprint in the biodiesel industry and take the company’s business model to other areas of the country. Earlier this year, Hero BX announced a tolling arrangement with Iowa Renewable Energy to produce biodiesel at IRE’s 30 MMgy biodiesel plant in Washington, Iowa. In 2015, Hero BX bought the former Veros Energy biodiesel plant in Moundville, Alabama, and reopened it as a 20 MMgy facility in 2016. Also in 2016, Hero BX opened a biodiesel distribution terminal in North Hampton, New Hampshire. The company’s flagship biodiesel plant is located in Erie, Pennsylvania, and can produce approximately 50 MMgy. 

“We were extremely excited about the opportunity to acquire a facility so close to the metropolitan area of St. Louis and the petroleum production and distribution markets in the area,” Peterson said of the Illinois plant acquisition. “The prior owners did a good job creating the framework for a production facility here, but struggled to navigate the uncertainty of lapsed blenders credits, RVOs and other market dynamics that have plagued the industry over the years. We are hopeful that we will be able to carry the ball over the goal line here under the Hero BX name.”

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