Patriot Biodiesel partners with restaurant chain

By Susanne Retka Schill | June 17, 2008
Web exclusive posted July 16, 2008 at 9:33 a.m. CST

North Carolina restaurant chain Libby Hill Seafood Inc. has struck an agreement with Patriot Biodiesel LLC in Greensboro, N.C., to supply five gallons of waste vegetable oil for every one gallon of B100 it receives in return.

According to Justin Conrad, president of Libby Hill Seafood, the chain of 11 restaurants uses between 800,000 and 1 million pounds of oil each year. "We're not really sure how much we'll have to recycle," he said. "We think we'll be able to recycle between 40 and 50 percent of that." With the 5 to 1 ratio, they estimate Libby Hill will get back between 200 to 300 gallons of B100 which will fuel a fleet of five diesel trucks that deliver to the restaurants and other purchasers of seafood supplies in their distribution region of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

For Patriot Biodiesel, it will be a sure supply of feedstock. Patriot Biodiesel expects to begin production at its new biodiesel facility in mid-August, said company president Gabe Neeriemer. He hopes to sign up more restaurant chains with the same sort of arrangement he made with Conrad. "He's getting more for his waste vegetable oil than he's ever gotten, and I'm getting oil at a much better price," Neeriemer said.

Neeriemer previously owned and operated Oak Biodiesel, a 250,000 gallon per year plant, which he has sold. His former customers told him, "let's do it again and let's do it bigger" and so was launched Patriot Biodiesel's project to build the 1.5 MMgy plant. Besides contracting with restaurants, Neeriemer said he takes waste vegetable oil from individuals following the same ratio. "It helps to have a relationship with the people who bring you the oil," he said.

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