Every gallon of diesel must include 2 percent of the alternative fuel

Download a PDF of this storyBy Beth Casper • Statesman Journal

August 7, 2009

A mandate that requires 2 percent biodiesel in every gallon of diesel in nine Northwest counties has local biodiesel companies gearing up to meet demand.

Salem-based SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel — the largest biodiesel producer in Oregon — has a 5 million gallon annual capacity. But the mandate creates such a demand for the yellow-grease-turned-fuel that plant managers want to create even more.

“We are already talking about expanding beyond 5 million gallons,” said Tyson Keever, the general manager for the plant. “It’s a night-and-day change from a month ago when we weren’t able to sell product.”

Now, biodiesel is “flying” out of tanks, Keever said.

Legislation passed this session helped trigger the 2 percent mandate, called “B2.” It requires the mandate to be implemented when Oregon has the capacity to produce 5 million gallons per year.

Oregon now has a capacity to produce between 8 million and 10 million gallons of biodiesel.

The Salem plant is not alone in its success related to the mandate.

Other producers, including Beaver Biodiesel in Corvallis, are gearing up for increased need for biodiesel.

“The B2 mandate is clearly going to help us,” said Daniel Shafer of Beaver Biodiesel, which will soon be running at a 1.2 million gallon annual capacity. “Today we have the ability to blend and distribute any blend of biodiesel. We have our own truck and blender. We buy diesel and blend it. We produce premium biodiesel fuel.”

So far, consumers have not seen diesel prices rise. At the DeHart Shell gas station on Mission Street SE, for example, diesel is $2.65 per gallon, the same as last week.

bcasper@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 589-6994

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