Green Star Products to Build 900 Million Gallons per Year of Biodiesel Capacity in South Africa; Integration with Greenfuels’ Algae Bioreactors
14 November 2006
|Green Star biodiesel reactor heading to South Africa.|
Green Star Products has signed an agreement with De Beers Fuel Limited of South Africa to build 90 biodiesel reactors. Each of the biodiesel reactors will be capable of producing 10 million gallons of biodiesel each year for a total production capacity of 900,000,000 gallons per year when operating at full capacity.
The output from the 90 reactors will be 4 times greater than the entire US output of biodiesel in 2006.
The 2-ton reactors will be built by GSPI at their Glenns Ferry Facility in Idaho and delivered over the next 18 months. The first reactor was shipped November 8, 2006 by airfreight to South Africa. Presently, the De Beers plant is now operating at 10 million gallons per year on sunflower seed oil as feedstock and has contracted for additional feedstock for additional plants.
The companies believe, however, that the ultimate answer for biodiesel feedstock will be algae. While soybean produces 48 gallons of oil per acre per year and canola produces 140 gallons per acre, algae can produce more than 10,000 gallons per acre.
De Beers has entered into an agreement with Greenfuel Technologies Corporation (earlier post), and has purchased and removed the MIT bioreactor from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and transported it to South Africa.
The Greenfuel reactor has been reassembled on the De Beers biodiesel plant site in Naboomspruit, South Africa, and is now awaiting the arrival of the algae to be inoculated to start production. At the Naboomspruit site construction will soon be underway at the rail spur for a crushing plant to process oil from the planting of sunflowers throughout the region. Mr. de Beer also supports, along with the development of the algae growth technology, the local farming industry that will benefit with the planting of thousands of acres of sunflowers and other feedstocks for oils to be processed into biodiesel fuel.
The de Beers business model includes a franchising strategy for independent operators to license biodiesel reactors. This franchising strategy is a worldwide first, according to the companies.
The franchising plan reduces the initial cost of the biodiesel plant significantly for participants. Franchises will only be paying in the range of 10 cents per installed gallon (depending on location and logistics), while the rest of the industry is paying $0.70 to $1.50 per installed gallon.
Most of the 90 franchised biodiesel plants are located close to electric power plants as well as other CO2 emitters, to utilize their stack emissions to feed the algae farms when they switch over feedstock from oil seed crops to algae.
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