Eastern US sees recent push in terminal activity

By Nicholas Zeman | June 09, 2009
Posted June 16, 2009

The last few weeks have seen some heightened activity for biodiesel fuel terminal operations in the eastern half of the U.S., spurred mostly by mandates and government directives. Construction has started on Orlando, Fla.'s $2.5 million biodiesel blending station meant to serve its public bus agency and Bay State Biofuels LLC is building a distribution facility in North Andover, Mass.

The North Andover terminal will be the first full-scale commercial facility dedicated to biodiesel distribution in Massachusetts. This terminal has 350,000 gallons of storage capacity in two above ground tanks and will distribute B99.9 biodiesel for oil companies to blend with petroleum diesel in automobile and home heating applications as required by the state's Clean Energy Biofuels Act of 2008. "Massachusetts is required to go to a 2 percent biodiesel blend for home heating oil by 2010 and it will increase 1 percent per year until it caps out at 5 percent," said Jesse Reich, CEO of Bay State.

The firm will be able to compete yearlong with retail prices of diesel and winter wholesale prices of heating oil. "We should keep prices of blends between B2 and B20 within one cent of petrol diesel prices," Reich said, adding that a major aspect of Baystate's business will be trading Renewable Identification Numbers.

"If we work directly with oil companies who need to purchase RINS instead of working with brokers, we will get about 5 cents more gallon of biodiesel," Reich said. "So handling this part of the business ourselves is crucial to our success."

The Orlando blend station will be the first in the nation built and operated by a transit agency. The Lynx transit blend station will allow the agency to convert its entire fleet to carbon neutral biodiesel fuel. The station is being paid for through a grant from the governor's energy office known as the Renewable Energy Technologies Grant Program.

Lynx expects that 1.2 million gallons of petrol will be replaced by biodiesel fuel, lowering the transit system's carbon dioxide emissions in the metropolis by 16 percent.

Currently, Lynx is taking bids from biodiesel distributors for supplying the transit system with its required supplies, said spokesman Matt Freidman. "This is a program that we expect will be very effective and one that we expect to see long term benefits from," he said. "Right now we're in the process of permitting, acquiring supplies and getting everything signed off on so it takes a bit of time."
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