Biodiesel plant construction in motion

CNJ staff

Construction of the $16 million Clovis Biodiesel plant has begun at the Clovis Industrial Park, according to a company official.

Financing agreements have been completed with Bank of Albuquerque by ARES Blue Sun Development, Clovis Biodiesel’s parent company, officials announced in a news release.

The plant is expected to be operational by the end of the year and will produce 15 million gallons of biodiesel annually as New Mexico’s first commercial-scale biodiesel production facility, the release reads.

Gerry Runte, ARES Corp. clean energy general manager and vice president of ARES Blue Sun Development, said the plant will begin operation using soybean oil as feedstock shipped in by rail and will transition to canola oil.

Runte said Blue Sun Biodiesel, a partner with ARES Corp. in ARES Blue Sun Development, produces canola oil from rapeseed. He said the plan is to encourage local interest in growing rapeseed from which the canola oil is derived and the potential exists to build a crushing facility.

“We expect to be using Blue Sun canola oil by the end of 2008,” Runte said.
Clovis Industrial Development Corp. Executive Director Chase Gentry said that is more good news for eastern New Mexico.

“We are excited about the prospect for a rejuvenation of our agricultural sector by organizing farmer cooperatives that will grow Blue Sun crops locally and crush the seed to supply the plant,” Gentry said in the release.