Clovis biodiesel plant plans to sell fuel locally

CLOVIS — A biodiesel producer at the Clovis Industrial Park is setting up to sell its product locally.

Renewable Energy Group is prepping a wholesale terminal at the plant, with product available for delivery in July.

Alicia Clancy, corporate affairs manager for REG, said the terminal will have an inventory capacity of 500,000 gallons, with three tiers of potential consumers — petroleum refineries, petroleum wholesalers and companies with large trucking fleets that keep diesel on site.

"The facility right now, as it stands, is 40 percent (complete)," Clancy said. "Because we want to help get product in that market as soon as possible … this is our first step to help meet that demand. That will help build the market.

"Right now, our goal is to make people aware there is biodiesel there and educate people on the benefits of biodiesel."

The company is taking applications at www.regi.com/clovis to set up customer accounts for the biodiesel, which will be produced in Houston and moved to the Clovis terminal. The success of terminal sales will be a determining factor in how quickly REG plans to complete the plant itself.

"Renewable Energy Group believes this new terminal infrastructure demonstrates our commitment to offering our customers better access to biodiesel blending locations throughout the Southwest and West," Daniel J. Oh, REG president and CEO, said in a release. "We intend to complete construction of REG Clovis as a biodiesel production site, the timing of which depends on a variety of factors. Using the location as a terminal is an important initial step in the process to meet local market demand."

The nearest REG locations to Clovis are Houston and Alamosa, Colo., with Alamosa a terminal-only location. Clancy said moving biodiesel by the truckload makes economic sense within 300 miles, which puts Clovis in prime territory for West Texas and Artesia.

Biodiesel is a drop-in biofuel for use in any diesel engine application, and blended at any ratio.

The twice-stalled plant was purchased by REG in September 2010, with no timetables to restart the project at the time due to market conditions.

Clancy said REG will need to hire one worker for the distribution terminal, and noted that construction crews are currently working on the plant.

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