Jatrodiesel: making money, growing fast

By Nicholas Zeman | September 18, 2009
Posted September 30, 2009

Inc. Magazine's list of fastest growing companies featured Ohio's Jatrodiesel at the 550 slot and ranked 22 in the energy sector. The selection is evidence that there's still money to be made in the biodiesel industry, despite continued reports of bankruptcies, stalled capacities and high-priced commodities.

"The biodiesel plants that are not doing well basically have two problems," said Raj Mosali, CEO of Jatrodiesel. "Either they don't have any cash on hand, or they can't sell their biodiesel because their price is too high. Right now, there is about 35 cent margin between a producer's cost and the price of diesel fuel, so a plant that is using multi-feedstock technology and has a pretty lean operation should be able to make money."

Some biodiesel plants have inefficient technologies and can't make biodiesel at a reasonable price. In addition, they often don't have capital to make improvements. "Our growth is coming from our ability to fix issues at existing plants, not from building turn-key operations," Mosali says. "The plants that do have cash are putting in polishing equipment or adding distillation columns or glycerin recovery, which can really add to the bottom line."
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