OPIS: Bridgeport Biodiesel Completing Plant Expansion in January
Posted December 23, 2015 by Rachel Gantz
Connecticut-based Bridgeport Biodiesel will be producing at its new expanded production capacity of 13-million gal/yr in January, the company’s CEO confirmed to OPIS on Tuesday.
The 2-million gal/yr biodiesel plant, in Bridgeport, has been online since 2012.
The expansion has been underway “for almost a year,” Bridgeport Biodiesel CEO Brent Baker explained. The plant “will be commissioned and begin production in January 2016,” he said.
“Our plant was engineered to produce 1-B (winterized) grade biodiesel from multiple feedstocks including high FFA [Free Fatty Acids] brown grease. … The feedstock for the plant will be primarily yellow and brown grease, a large majority of which will be sourced from New York City-based cooking oil collector Tri-State Biodiesel and its partners,” Baker continued.
Meantime, on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) toured Bridgeport Biodiesel’s facilities. “The senator toured our facility and asked many questions about our business and process. … One thing he asked about was how the [just-reinstated biodiesel] tax credit would help us,” Baker explained.
Blumenthal “was aware and supportive of the tax credit and wanted to see the effects of it,” Baker continued, noting that Connecticut is now the biggest biodiesel producing state in New England. Additionally, “low petroleum prices made the tax credit and RFS more important than ever. Since our plant is in the final days of construction but not yet running, he requested to return when the plant is running,” he added.
Baker also weighed in further on the reinstated $1/gal biodiesel tax credit, and the unsuccessful attempt this year to convert the biodiesel blenders tax credit to one for domestic producers. “The tax credit renewal was incredibly important to our business and industry. While we still can’t understand why a U.S.
taxpayer subsidy would go to foreign companies, producing subsidized biodiesel that pushes down the value of American made product, we are quite happy that the credit was reinstated,” he said.
“With petroleum prices at this level, a non-renewal of the tax credit would have potentially been a death blow to our company and probably a lot of the industry.
We are glad the government recognizes the value of a homegrown fuel that can reduce carbon emissions by up to 87% in existing equipment and hope that 2016 sees a more permanent tax credit that goes to U.S. producers only,” Baker added.
As OPIS has previously reported, the National Biodiesel Board already plans to renew efforts next year to convert the tax credit from the blender to the producer.