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GreenHunter BioFuels Resumes Production At Houston Biodiesel Refinery

The GreenHunter biodiesel refinery in Houston.
by Staff Writers
Grapevine TX (SPX) Dec 03, 2008
Greenhunter Biofuels gas announced that startup of biodiesel production at the Company's biodiesel refinery in Houston has been initiated following repairs and recovery from Hurricane Ike. Located along the Shipping Channel in Houston, Texas, the Company's biodiesel refinery, one of the country's largest, sustained a direct hit from Hurricane Ike in mid-September of 2008.

Plant debugging had just been completed and the facility was beginning to ramp up production after its original startup in mid-June, prior to the damages caused by the hurricane. Prior to Hurricane Ike, the Company had announced achieving processing rate mileposts of 50% and subsequently 65% of nameplate capacity.

The Company expects to continue its use of 100 percent animal fats (poultry fat and beef talloy) as its primary feedstock, although the GreenHunter BioFuels Refinery is "feedstock neutral" and has used five different varieties of feedstock (vegetable oils and animal fats) to date.

Previously, the Company had stated that it anticipated that most of the damage sustained by its wholly-owned subsidiary, GreenHunter BioFuels, Inc., would be covered by existing property and casualty insurance along with business interruption insurance.

For all repairs completed to this point, GreenHunter has utilized its existing working capital to fund the cost of the repairs prior to receipt of any of the significant amounts presently due from the Company's various existing insurance carriers.

Commenting on the repair and restart of the Company's biodiesel refinery, Bruce Baughman, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Technology, stated, "The approximate 12 feet of floodwater from Hurricane Ike took out a significant amount of electrical equipment, electronic instruments and control devices that have now been replaced and repaired over the last eight weeks. In the same period we have repaired process piping, pumps, intermediate tanks and bulk storage tanks that were damaged by flood waters.

"Prior to Hurricane Ike, GreenHunter BioFuels was systematically ramping-up processing rates. While it is our intent to again engage in a similar ramp-up of continuous throughput rate, it is reasonable to anticipate some troubleshooting during our second startup phase due to the magnitude of the repairs that were necessary to recover from Hurricane Ike. As such, we anticipate that we will achieve an approximate 50% of capacity sometime over the next four operating weeks."

Gary C. Evans, Chairman, President, and CEO of GreenHunter Energy commented, "The renewable fuels industry faces a challenging environment in which crude oil has fallen from $145 per barrel to $55 per barrel today. Even though we have experienced a dramatic decline in the price of our finished product, producing biodiesel from animal fats continues to make economic sense and is a financially viable business. Feedstock prices, which represent approximately 85% of the cost of goods sold in our biodiesel business, have decreased by almost 70% in the same period that crude oil has fallen around 60%.

"Further, in April of 2009, a federal mandate will enter into effect which requires 500 million gallons of biodiesel to be consumed in the United States during 2009. These minimum federal mandates increase annually through 2012. Additionally, the new Presidential administration continues to pursue significant financial incentives for the alternative energy industry which we believe could directly benefit GreenHunter Energy. We are confident that with our lower-cost, higher-quality production approach, we will be able to produce biodiesel profitably for our shareholders."

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Green Star Announces Odessa Biodiesel Plant Completed
Odessa WA (SPX) Nov 27, 2008
Green Star Products has announced that the Inland Empire Oilseeds Biodiesel Facility in Odessa, Washington is completed. Its initial continuous acceptance run produced 36,000 gallons of spec biodiesel to complete GSPI's contractual obligations.

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