Louisiana gas distributor buys old Natchez plant to produce biodiesel

Published 11:12 pm Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Louisiana gas distributor, which bought the former Ethyl Petroleum Additives plant in Natchez for a biodiesel operation, has received its first shipment of soy oil.

Clint Vegas, owner of Delta Fuel Company Inc. of Ferriday, La., said Thursday that the shipment, which came by barge from Owensboro, Ky., is the first half of about 1 million gallons of soy oil the company plans to store until the plant comes online in March.

“We’re extremely excited about receiving our first load because that means we’re fixing to be in business,” Vegas said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Delta Fuel provides gas, diesel and lubricates to wholesale and retail markets. It bought the former Ethyl Petroleum Additive plant in May and are retrofitting it to produce biodiesel.

Biodiesel is an alternative fuel created from a mixture of fat from hogs and poultry, catfish oil and soybean oil called feed stock.

Vegas said a second shipment of soy oil would arrive at the facility between Jan. 10-13.

Once the plant opens, Vegas said it plans to first produce 15 million gallons of biodiesel per year, eventually reaching its ultimate goal of 100 million gallons a year.

Vegas estimates the plant would employ between 20 and 30 full-time employees when it opens.

The plant already employs seven full-time employees, not counting the 24-hour security service, Vegas said.