May 10, 2006


Biodiesel firm plans $40 million refinery (Warren Cornwall, 5/10/06, Seattle Times)

The people who started what's now the largest biodiesel refinery in the state are planning what could be the largest such plant in the nation, in the heart of Western Washington's depressed timber country. [...]

The project has attracted money from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, whose investment company, Vulcan Capital, is backing it, said Imperium President John Plaza. Two California venture-capital firms are the other major investors, he said.

For Grays Harbor, which has suffered economic loss from a slowdown in the timber industry, the project could mean 250 to 350 construction jobs plus 50 long-term jobs, according to Imperium.

The Legislature this year passed a law requiring that by 2008, all diesel sold in Washington each year must be 2 percent biodiesel, hoping to create a market for Washington's crops and eco-friendly fuel.

Biodiesel, made from processed vegetable oil, produces less air pollution than petroleum-based diesel. Proponents say it also makes less carbon dioxide, a gas linked to global warming.

With the recent jump in fuel prices, biodiesel is now also slightly cheaper than regular diesel at Seattle-area gas stations.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 10, 2006 6:08 AM
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