Batesville Biodiesel Refiner to Triple Capacity This Year

MARCH 29, 2006 - Posted at 8:04 a.m. CST

BATESVILLE, AR - Representatives of the Eastman Chemical Company plant in Batesville say they plan to expand.

The Batesville plant is now capable of producing six million gallons of biodiesel fuel annually out of soybeans and rendered chicken fat.

The company's Randy Powell says plans are in place to expand again, tripling the capacity to 18 million gallons by the middle of this year.

Most biodiesel is mixed in two, five or twenty percent blends with traditional diesel for use in any diesel engine.  The Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation says consumers can purchase these blends at 30 outlets in 16 counties in Arkansas.

The state should have a second biodiesel refinery operating next month.  Patriot BioFuels of Stuttgart expects to sell its first biodiesel fuel in mid-April.

And Potlatch Corp and other groups are preparing a feasibility study for the construction of a biorefinery at the company's pulp and paperboard bill at Cypress Bend in Desha County.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)