Evergreen Renewables, LLC, is currently building the first operating biodiesel plant in the State of Indiana. The biodiesel plant will be located at Wolf Lake Terminals in Hammond, Indiana. The new facility, likely to cost around $10 million, will produce 5 million gallons of biodiesel from soybean oil each year. Production is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2006, and the company is striving to increase production to 30 million gallons per year.
The biodiesel plant will be constructed to comply with the leading industry quality standard for biodiesel producers, BQ-9000. The plant is also in a prime location to receive source soybean oil from a number of Indiana soybean processors, and its location enhances the capability to supply biodiesel to various wholesale distributors in the region in order to meet the growing demand for the product.
Bringing the biodiesel plant to Hammond, Indiana, had widespread local support because it has the potential to become an integral part of the local economy and to improve the quality of life in the city. The biodiesel plant will contribute to the local economy by providing jobs, revenue, and renewable fuels to the local communities. The City of Hammond’s school bus fleet will directly benefit from having a local biodiesel producer. The school bus fleet has been operating on a biodiesel blend (B20) since the 2001 school year. In addition, local residents using a biodiesel blend in their personal vehicles will benefit from having the local distributor of biodiesel.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes biodiesel as a clean alternative to regular diesel fuel. Biodiesel is known to significantly reduce carbon monoxide and lifecycle carbon dioxide as well as essentially eliminate the exhaust emissions of sulfur oxides and sulfates, both major components of acid rain.
A prominent study published by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy shows for every unit of fossil fuel used to make biodiesel, 3.2 units of energy are gained in energy output. Biodiesel works in any diesel engine with few or no modifications. More than six hundred major fleets use biodiesel nationwide such as Hammond City Schools, the National Park Service, state departments of transportation, and the U.S. military.