Fifth Largest U.S. Biodiesel Plant Opens at ErieFifth Largest U.S. Biodiesel Plant Opens at Erie

Lake Erie Biofuels gearing up to produce 45 million gallons of biodiesel a year.

John Vogel

October 11, 2007

1 Min Read

An old industrial brownfield site outside of Erie, Pa., is getting a $60 million economic makeover. Early this week, Lake Erie Biofuels hosted a ceremonial opening of its 45 million gallon capacity biodiesel refinery.

A string of black railroad tanker cars delivered the first soybean oil to the plant that expects to reach plant capacity for pure biodiesel (B100) late this year or early in 2008, according to Brad Davis, president of the company. At 45 million gallons, it will be one of the five largest biodiesel refineries in the country.

And, Davis, notes that it may be the only U.S. plant to refine vegetable oil, recycled grease and animal fats. Lake Erie Biofuels is targeting their product to three markets: petroleum diesel and home heating oil blenders and exports to Europe.

Tax benefits package

Last December, a $625,000 grant was awarded to the company via Pennsylvania's Alternative Fuels Incentives Grant Program. It represents a 5-cents-per-gallon production credit and reimbursement for up to 12.5 million gallons per year for biodiesel meeting certified quality specifications.

About the Author(s)

John Vogel

Editor, American Agriculturist

For more than 38 years, John Vogel has been a Farm Progress editor writing for farmers from the Dakota prairies to the Eastern shores. Since 1985, he's been the editor of American Agriculturist – successor of three other Northeast magazines.

Raised on a grain and beef farm, he double-majored in Animal Science and Ag Journalism at Iowa State. His passion for helping farmers and farm management skills led to his family farm's first 209-bushel corn yield average in 1989.

John's personal and professional missions are an integral part of American Agriculturist's mission: To anticipate and explore tomorrow's farming needs and encourage positive change to keep family, profit and pride in farming.

John co-founded Pennsylvania Farm Link, a non-profit dedicated to helping young farmers start farming. It was responsible for creating three innovative state-supported low-interest loan programs and two "Farms for the Future" conferences.

His publications have received countless awards, including the 2000 Folio "Gold Award" for editorial excellence, the 2001 and 2008 National Association of Ag Journalists' Mackiewicz Award, several American Agricultural Editors' "Oscars" plus many ag media awards from the New York State Agricultural Society.

Vogel is a three-time winner of the Northeast Farm Communicators' Farm Communicator of the Year award. He's a National 4-H Foundation Distinguished Alumni and an honorary member of Alpha Zeta, and board member of Christian Farmers Outreach.

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