For three years running, SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel LLC, a joint venture between SeQuential Biofuels and Hawaii-based Pacific Biodiesel Inc., has been offering premium biodiesel from its plant in Salem, Ore., to loyal customers in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest region. The company’s community-scale model is paying off as the plant reached a milestone surpassing its 10 millionth gallon of biodiesel produced from used cooking oil.
The plant, which officially came online in the fall of 2008, launched with an annual capacity of 1 MMgy, but it has since ramped up production volume, said general manager Tyson Keever, adding that he expects his plant to hit about 5 million gallons this year alone.
“The Pacific Biodiesel model of community-scale I think has really been validated in what we’re doing here with vertical integration from [waste cooking oil] collection to production to retail,” Keever told Biodiesel Magazine.
Through its subsidiary Encore Oils, SeQuential Pacific collects used cooking oil from approximately 5,000 restaurants in Salem and neighboring sites in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The oil is processed at its Salem production facility into biodiesel, which is then sold either directly to its customers or sold through terminals and distributors. Keever said his company is retailing B99 for about $3.99 per gallon right now.
“We try to have a strong relationship with the restaurants and focus on production that’s available from regional feedstock, and then try to have a strong relationship with the end-user as well,” Keever said.
He added that the company intends to secure additional contracts for used cooking oil from restaurants, along with potentially making efficiency upgrades to the Salem plant with help from Pacific Biodiesel, which is currently building a biodiesel plant on the Big Island of Hawaii expected to be operational by early next year.
“We’re hoping to be able to follow suit with some of that new technology soon thereafter,” Keever said.
Producers like SeQuential Pacific are benefitting from an in-state biodiesel mandate that went into effect in April when the 15 MMgy threshold was triggered requiring all diesel fuel sold in the state to contain a minimum of 5 percent biodiesel. Diesel fuels used in locomotives, marine engines and home heating applications are exempt from the mandate.
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