ME Bio Energy restarts plant in Missouri

By Bryan Sims
Posted Sept. 14, 2010

ME Bio Energy LLC has reopened its 5 MMgy multi-feedstock biodiesel plant in Lilbourn, Mo. The facility, which was formerly owned and operated by Great River Soy Processing LLC, had been idle for nearly three years.

According to owner and partner Mike Ellis, ME Bio Energy took ownership of the facility in May and began producing its first batches of biodiesel in August. Since ME Bio Energy restarted production, Ellis said approximately 14,000 gallons of biodiesel has been produced daily at the plant.

"It was in pretty good shape when we got it," Ellis said. Stuttgart, Arkansas-based Agri-Process Innovations made final start-up repairs to the plant. "We had to replace some gaskets, motors, do some recalibrating and so on. We also had to renew with the U.S. EPA and all the regulatory licenses. It takes time."

When it was owned by Great River Soy Processing, the plant was on line for only two weeks in October 2007 before it was shut down due to rising soybean oil prices. During those two weeks the refinery produced 94,000 gallons of biodiesel.

Ellis said plans are to expand the plant's installed capacity three-fold to 15 MMgy in the near future. Though the Lilbourn plant is the only one currently owned by ME Bio Energy, the company is considering acquiring other idled biodiesel facilities similar in scale and annual capacity, according to Ellis."They're not cheap, but we still see value in them," he said.
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