Sanimax Expands Biodiesel, Opens Biomass Boiler

By Tina Caparella

Sanimax, a leading rendering and renewable process company headquartered in Canada, has installed stainless steel tanks to support growing production at its biodiesel facility in DeForest, WI. Apache Stainless Equipment Corp. has supplied an atmospheric stainless steel tank and three pressure vessels to bring the biodiesel facility owned and operated by Sanimax to its 20 million gallons per year name-plate capacity. The tank is being used for fuel storage and increased storage capacity for Sanimax by 30,000 gallons.

In mid-May, Sanimax opened a biomass boiler plant at its rendering facility in Levis, QC, which is capable of destroying specified risk material (SRM). The plant was commissioned with a federal government repayable investment of up to $7.7 million and is intended to benefit cattle producers, abattoirs, and meat processors.

In addition to being able to incinerate up to 10,350 metric tons of processed SRM annually, the plant generates enough energy to power approximately 40 percent of its own needs. Tipping fees that are paid to abattoirs for the disposal of SRM have gone down by $22.50 per metric ton, while the cost of picking up dead stock has decreased by 56 percent (from $90 per head to $40 per head).

“Thanks to the $15.5 million biomass boiler, we can now turn animal protein waste into energy while reducing our carbon dioxide emissions by close to 22,000 metric tons a year,” said Sanimax President and Chief Executive Officer Martin Couture. “As you can imagine, we are very proud of our achievement.”

The project was funded under the Slaughter Waste Innovation Program (SWIP), which provides up to $40 million to support the study, development, and adoption of innovative technologies or processes that help reduce processing costs or generate profits through the use or elimination of SRM.

REG Buys Soy Energy Plant

Renewable Energy Group (REG) has acquired a 30 million gallon per year biodiesel plant from Soy Energy, LLC. Pursuant to the agreement, REG will acquire the Mason City, IA, biorefinery for $11 million in cash and the issuance of a $5.6 million promissory note to Soy Energy. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions.

Originally built in 2006, the Mason City plant was purchased by Soy Energy in 2010 and upgraded to utilize a larger variety of raw materials, including animal fats and used cooking oil. The plant was idled in mid-2012 due to market conditions and manufacturing challenges.

REG plans to repair then restart the refinery and further upgrade the plant in the future. The acquisition increases the company’s total biodiesel production capacity to 257 million gallons annually. REG currently owns seven active biodiesel refineries in five states, including nearby plants in Newton and Ralston, IA and Albert Lea, MN.

Dynamic Fuels to Restart in July

During a conference call to discuss its first quarter financial results, Syntroleum Corp. announced that Dynamic Fuels, LLC’s renewable diesel plant in Geismar, LA, is anticipated to restart operations in mid- to late July. The facility was idled in late 2012. Dynamic Fuels is a joint venture of Syntroleum and Tyson Foods, Inc.

Gary Roth, president and chief executive officer of Syntroleum, said the start date allows for the delivery of a new catalyst in late June that is expected to increase diesel yields from an average of 80 percent to 88 percent.

“Rather than interrupt the feedstock supply chain, we believe the better alternative is to defer operations until installation of the new catalyst,” Roth commented. The company expects demand for D4 biomass-based diesel renewable identification numbers to remain relatively constant for the remainder of 2013 and 2014.

Northwest Producer Expands Feedstock Sources

A number of prominent companies in the Seattle, WA, metro area have partnered with SeQuential-Pacific Biodiesel to recycle their used cooking oil into biodiesel. CenturyLink Field, Pike Place Market, Safeco Field, Taco Time Corp., and the University of Washington join thousands of other Washington-based organizations in recycling their oil with SeQuential-Pacific Biodiesel.

In 2012, SeQuential-Pacific recycled enough oil from Washington businesses to produce 1.48 million gallons of biodiesel and offset more than 10 million pounds of carbon. The biodiesel is sold to commercial and retail fuel distributors throughout the state. Founded in 2005, SeQuential-Pacific Biodiesel is a joint-venture between SeQuential Biofuels of Oregon and Pacific Biodiesel of Maui, HI.

Texas Man Jailed for RIN Fraud

Jeffrey David Gunselman, 30, was sentenced in late March to 188 months (15-plus years) in federal prison, fined $175,000, and ordered to pay more than $54.9 million in restitution following his guilty plea in December 2012 to an indictment charging 51 counts of wire fraud, 24 counts of money laundering, and four counts of making false statements in violation of the Clean Air Act. The sentence is the second significant penalty against an alleged biodiesel producer who produced no fuel but sold renewable fuel credits.

Gunselman admitted that from September 2010 to October 2011, he devised a scheme to defraud the Environmental Protection Agency by falsely representing that he was in the business of producing biodiesel, yet Gunselman did not have a biodiesel fuel-producing facility. Instead, his business operation consisted of falsely generating renewable identification numbers and selling them to oil companies and brokers. He instructed purchasers to wire payments to a bank account he solely controlled, and as a result, approximately $41.7 million was deposited into that account.

June 2013 RENDER | back