REG celebrates grand opening of Illinois plant

By Megan Skauge | November 13, 2008
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Web exclusive posted Nov. 24, 2008 at 10:35 a.m. CST

Ames, Iowa-based Renewable Energy Group held the grand opening of its Blackhawk Biofuels LLC in Danville, Ill., on Nov. 19. Biodiesel industry leaders and community representatives celebrated the grand opening of the 45 MMgy biodiesel facility, which will employ 27 full-time employees.

Blackhawk Biofuels is owned by a group of more than 500 individual investors and is managed by REG, the nation's leading biodiesel production and marketing company. As part of the management agreement, all staff at the facility are REG employees.

Blackhawk Biofuels is REG's ninth biodiesel plant in their network bringing the company's total annual capacity to 302 million gallons.

"Located on the Indiana/Illinois border, Danville is a strategic location of choice for us to continue building our nation's biodiesel future," said REG's Chief Operating Officer, Daniel Oh. "We expect Danville to become a premier facility in the REG network focused on our marketing capabilities in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio." Communications Specialist Alicia Clancy said Danville is the company's eastern most location, which will aid in moving more quality biodiesel to the East Coast.

The new facility has started producing REG 9000-1 biodiesel with a cloud point of zero to two degrees Celsius (32 to 35.60 Fahrenheit), which REG said exceeds ASTM quality specifications. The biodiesel will be available for sales in December. REG said upgrades to the plant will continue and REG 9000-5 with a cloud point of four to six degrees Celsius (39.20 to 42.80 Fahrenheit) and REG 9000-10 with a cloud point of eight to 12 degrees Celsius (46.40 to 53.60 Fahrenheit) will be available next spring.

"The facility will begin producing biodiesel made from vegetable oils, such as soybean oil," Blackhawk Biofuels Chairman Ron Mapes said. "When upgrades are completed later this winter, this facility will gain added flexibility, as it will be able to produce biodiesel from animal-fat feedstocks."

Clancy said the Danville opening is very exciting for REG and Blackhawk Biofuels. "I feel biodiesel will continue to be an important part in renewable energy. We hope to continue to grow partnerships in the industry," she said.
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