Cargill to build nation’s largest biodiesel plant in Iowa

Musician Willie Nelson expands biodisel brand BioWillie

CARL'S CORNER, Texas, July 6, 2005 (ENS): Musician Willie Nelson spent the Independence Day weekend expanding his chain of biodiesel fueling stations to the truck stop Carl's Corner along Interstate 35.

Carl's Corner now offers “BioWillie,” the singer’s unique brand of B20, a fuel made of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel. It is supplied to filling stations by Willie Nelson Biodiesel, founded by the musician.

In Texas, Carl’s Corner is not only the name of the city, but also the truck stop of the July 3 biodiesel celebration, which included amusements such as a chili cook-off and concert by Nelson.

“The response from my trucker customers so far has been phenomenal,” said Carl Cornelius, co-owner Carl’s Corner. “Almost everybody who’s used it has been totally satisfied. I’m learning from truckers they find better mileage, smoother performance, more power. They’re pretty excited. Everybody ought to get on this bandwagon.”

During the Texas event, the National Biodiesel Board presented Cornelius with the Biodiesel Pioneer Award for his commitment to bringing biodiesel to truckers.

Nelson intends to establish a chain of BioWillie stations throughout the southeastern United States. "Biodiesel is the future,” he said.

Company representatives say future plans include truck stops carrying the B20 along the east coast from Miami, Florida up to Rochester, New York.

Nelson and Peter Bell, of biodiesel supplier Distribution Drive formed Willie Nelson Biodiesel with three other partners in December 2004. To find out more about Willie Nelson Biodiesel, visit

IOWA FALLS, Iowa, July 6, 2005 (ENS): With the capacity to produce 37.5 million gallons of renewable, clean-burning biodiesel a year, Cargill’s planned biodiesel plant in Iowa Falls, Iowa is set to be larger than any of the United States’ current plants.

Cargill announced last month that it plans to start construction of the new plant this summer, with production expected in April 2006.

Organizers say the plant will initially produce biodiesel exclusively from soybean oil, but in the future, they hope to add animal fat and waste grease capabilities as well.

Adjacent to its existing soybean crush facility in Iowa Falls, Cargill also plans to build a glycerin refinery that can turn out 30 million pounds per year.

“The price volatility of the soybean oil and petroleum markets can be challenging for biodiesel producers," said Wayne Teddy, president, Cargill Grain and Oilseed Crush Supply-North America. But "by leveraging Cargill’s experience with other renewable fuels, utilizing our expertise in processing, logistics and risk management, as well as accessing our production of multiple feedstocks,” the company will make the enterprise a success, Teddy said.

Cargill is the nation’s third largest ethanol producer. It has an ethanol facility in Eddyville, Iowa that produces 35 million gallon per year and another just across the Nebraska border in Blair that produces 85 million gallons per year.

"Our biodiesel initiative reflects ongoing government support for renewable fuels and our broader commitment to invest in the U.S. renewable fuels industry, while generating new markets and applications for American farmers,” he said.

“I think it’s great that Cargill is entering the biodiesel market. It’s wonderful,” said Roy Arends, a director for the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board and farmer from Alexander, Iowa.

“Some might see this as competition for the farmer-owned biodiesel plants, but I see it as a good sign for the future. Cargill obviously thinks it’s going to be profitable long term or they wouldn’t be doing it.”

Iowa farmers have invested millions of tax form checkoff dollars in the development, production and promotion of soy biodiesel.

There are 52 biodiesel retail fueling stations and more than 350 biodiesel fuel distributors in the state.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2005. All Rights Reserved.

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