AGRA Biofuels began operations in its Middletown, Pennsylvania facility on 1 January 2006. The plant, the first of 11 the company plans to build, will produce 2–3 million gallons of soybean biodiesel annually.
It is the first commercial biodiesel production facility in the state, according to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who announced the opening, with company executives, at the state’s Farm Show.
The plant was built entirely through private equity and will serve as a prototype for the company’s next 10 facilities, each 10 times larger than the current plant, given AGRA a combined capacity of more than 200 million gallons per year.
Each of the plants will use virgin soybean oil—primarily from Pennsylvania farmers—as feedstock. To meet demands as production scales up, AGRA will also use feedstock from other states shipped to the facility via rail.
Governor Rendell and AGRA Biofuels Founder and CEO Don Coccia announced that the first 10,000 gallons of biodiesel produced by AGRA will be donated to Pennsylvania as part of the Governor’s “Stay Warm Pa” initiative and will be used to reduce heating bills for some of the state’s neediest families.