Emerald Biofuels, an Illinois-based alternative fuels company, recently announced plans to produce biodiesel in West Virginia. According to David Drew, president and CEO of Emerald Biofuels, engineering is under way at the Bayer CropScience Manufacturing Industrial Park in Institute, W.Va., and construction of the production plant will begin in June. The company expects fuel production to begin late this year.


West Virginia ’s first biodiesel production plant will be constructed near the State’s capital, Charleston. Credit: www.wikipedia.com

“The Bayer CropScience Manufacturing Industrial Park in Institute is an ideal location for us to pursue our production,” Drew said. “The site offers a strategic manufacturing location for us, distribution by truck, rail, and barge, as well as Bayer CropScience’s world-class resources that they’ll be providing for the operation, maintenance, and supervision of the facility. Furthermore, our view at Emerald Biofuels is that by utilizing an existing chemical facility, we are taking an environmentally responsible approach to building a plant that only makes sense for a renewable energy company.” Bayer CropScience Manufacturing Industrial Park also houses the Dow Chemical Company, FMC, Praxair, and Adisseo, among others.

Gov. Joe Manchin joined Drew and Bayer officials in March to announce the location of the new plant. Emerald will invest $15 million in its West Virginia plant and create 12 new full-time manufacturing jobs in the Kanawha Valley, thanks to the partnership with BayerCropScience, the governor said.

“West Virginia’s business assets came through for us in Emerald’s decision to locate here. Our railway, truck loading, river and highway access all played a big part in their decision,” Manchin said. “Emerald is at the cutting edge of alternative energy technology and I’m proud to welcome them to West Virginia. Biofuels, like those that will be produced by Emerald, will help us reach our goal of energy independence.”

Emerald Biofuels has signed a contract with Bayer CropScience that calls for an initial production of 30 million gallons of biodiesel per year to be produced at the park. “We believe we are in an exciting industry at the right time,” Drew said. “Emerald Biofuels is well positioned as U.S. companies look for ways to reduce their vulnerability to the fluctuating costs of imported crude oil.”

“The State of West Virginia has expressed strong support for Emerald Biofuels and feels that the 30 million gallons per year of biodiesel from the plant furthers the state’s goal of energy independence for West Virginia by 2030,” said Drew. “The staff at the Capitol has been extremely responsive to our needs and questions as we developed the project, and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the State of West Virginia.”

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