First Biodiesel Production Facility Sets the Stage in Pennsylvania

Not only did Pennsylvania’s Governor Edward G. Rendell announce the opening of the state’s first commercial biodiesel production facility, which is in keeping with his “American Energy Harvest” model, but the first 10,000 gallons of biodiesel produced by AGRA will be donated to reduce heating bills for some families in the state.

The facility is the first of 11 plants that AGRA Biodiesel plans to build in the commonwealth over the next five years. Each facility will use virgin soybean oil — primarily from Pennsylvania farmers — to create the renewable fuel. To meet production demands, AGRA will also use feedstock from other states shipped to the facility via rail. Once all 11 plants are operational, the process will result in increased soybean demand for farmers, and higher prices per bushel. “AGRA Biodiesel executives have set up shop here because they realize the tremendous potential the state holds,” said Governor Rendell. “Our commitment to renewable energy, convenient access to an abundant crop of state-grown soybeans, and a well-trained workforce convinced investors that Pennsylvania is a great place to do business. The company’s 11 production facilities will produce more than 200 million gallons of biodiesel each year, and create as many as 3,000 new jobs in the next five years.” The Middletown facility began operations on the first of the year, employs 20 permanent workers, and will produce 2-3 million gallons of biodiesel each year. It was built entirely through private equity and will serve as a prototype for the company’s next 10 facilities, each 10 times larger than the current plant.

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