Indiana Attracts World's Largest Biodiesel Plant

Louis Dreyfus Agricultural Industries plans to build the world's largest biodiesel plant near Claypool. Compiled by staff 

Published on: Mar 8, 2006

Indiana's pace of rapid growth in bioenergy and energy self-sufficiency took another step forward today as Gov. Mitch Daniels announced that Louis Dreyfus Agriculture Industries LLC plans to build the world's largest biodiesel plant near Claypool, Indiana. With this facility, two other biodiesel and six ethanol plants currently under construction, Indiana will become a leading producer in the biofuels industry.

"It's been a hectic year of dramatic progress in renewable fuels development in our state. If Indiana can do this, think what America can do to work toward energy self-sufficiency. In just one year, we're growing from one alternative fuels plant to nine, with more to come. We said our ag sector would be a big part of our economic comeback, and here's the proof," says Daniels, who made the announcement during his remarks at the 2nd National Agriculture/Forestry Renewable Energy Summit in Washington, D.C.

Indiana is the fifth largest corn state and the fourth largest soybean state and with the facilities under construction, the state will produce an additional 400 million gallons of ethanol annually and 95 million gallons of biodiesel (including Louis Dreyfus). Indiana's goal is to produce a combined 1 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel annually.

Through the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, the state has reached an agreement with Louis Dreyfus to build the project in two phases. The first will be a 50-million bushel per year soybean processing plant, and the second phase will be the biodiesel production facility. The facilities will be located near Claypool in Kosciusko County in northeastern Indiana. The plant will utilize Indiana soybeans.

Upon completion, the Louis Dreyfus facility will be one of the world's first biodiesel production plants to be fully integrated with a soybean processing plant. About 260,000 metric tons of soybean oil from the plant will be used each year for biodiesel production. In addition, 1 million tons of protein rich soybean meal produced each year will be used by the livestock and poultry industry. The biodiesel plant will produce up to 250,000 gallons of biodiesel per day, or more than 80 million gallons per year. Eighty-five ongoing jobs will be created at the plant, and it is estimated that 300 people will be employed during the 12 to 18 month construction phase of the facility.

"We believe Claypool represents an ideal site for this investment in the growing and dynamic biofuels space," says Erik Anderson, chief executive officer of Louis Dreyfus Commodities North America. "Ample soybean supplies coupled with deep local markets for feed and biodiesel consumption made Indiana our top choice for this facility. We would like to thank Governor Daniels and the state of Indiana for their support, and for their vision of agricultural investment as a growth engine for Indiana's economy and of biofuels as a solution to the nation's dependence on imported oil."

"Today's announcement says to the nation that Indiana is a state serious about being a leader in biofuels," remarked Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, who serves as Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development and oversees the Indiana Office of Energy and Defense Development. "We are being aggressive in bringing cutting edge agri-business to Indiana. The benefits will be seen in our state's large and small, rural and urban communities. I thank Louis Dreyfus for its commitment to Indiana's future."

Louis Dreyfus, founded in 1851, operates in more than 50 countries. Its major international offices are located in Parison, London, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Beijing, and in the United States, Louis Dreyfus operates export elevators in Houston and Beaumont, Texas, and Seattle, with grain elevators on the Illinois River.

The IEDC offered economic development incentives, including up to $95,000 in training grants, $137,500 in infrastructure assistance to the local community, and up to $5.295 million in tax credits based on anticipated employment and capital investment levels.

The governor was in Washington, D.C., to speak at the 2nd National Agriculture/Forestry Renewable Energy Summit. The summit, organized by the 25 x '25 Working Group, brought together more than 70 organizations which support a vision of providing 25% of the country's energy needs from renewable sources by 2025.

Daniels was one of two governors asked to speak at the summit. He was selected because of Indiana's rapid progress in bioenergy - not only becoming a leader in biodiesel production but also for ground-breaking programs such as BioTown, USA, an effort to create a community where all energy needs are met through the use of biorenewable resources.