Hammond, Indiana [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The first operating biodiesel plant in the state of Indiana is being planned by Evergreen Renewables LLC. Located at Wolf Lake Terminals in Hammond, the facility will cost approximately $10 million, and will initially produce 5 million gallons of biodiesel per year made exclusively from soybean oil.The group aims to start producing biodiesel in the first quarter of 2006 with plans to expand production to 30 million gallons per year. The facility will be constructed to produce biodiesel according to BQ-9000, providing jobs, revenue, and renewable fuels to local communities as well as clear benefits to the environment. “Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic and essentially free of sulfur and smell,” said Carl Lisek, Coordinator for South Shore Clean Cities, a U.S. Department of Energy Program. Hammond should be very familiar with this renewable fuel; the City of Hammond school bus fleet has been successfully operating on a biodiesel blend (B20) since the 2001 school year. Biodiesel, recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as a clean alternative to regular diesel fuel, reduces carcinogenic emissions and gases related to global warming. More than 600 major fleets use biodiesel nationwide including the National Park Service, state departments of transportation and the U.S. military. Independent studies show biodiesel has the highest energy balance of any fuel — a U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy study shows that for every unit of fossil fuel used to make biodiesel, 3.2 units of energy are gained in energy output. That’s a 320% increase and includes soybean planting, harvesting, fuel production and transportation. Evergreen Renewables LLC is a National Biodiesel Board (NBB) member.