Community Fuels Expands its Port of Stockton Facility Reed Fujii | 08-Nov-2011
By Reed Fujii Record Staff Writer November 03, 2011 12:01 AM- Community Fuels is expanding its bio-diesel plant at the Port of Stockton, boosting production and distribution capacity, the company reported.
A grant of $474,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's bioenergy program, which encourages increased fuel production, provided an immediate boost in daily production, Community Fuels Chief Executive Lisa Mortenson said.
The money went to purchase additional raw materials for the Stockton plant, she said.
"Those USDA funds allowed us to increase production to higher levels than were forecasted," Mortenson said.
In addition, the company is expanding its storage and distribution capacity using, in part, a $2 million California Energy commission grant.
That work involves about 500,000 gallons of additional biofuel storage and enhanced truck and rail loading capacity, Mortenson said.
At the end, the plant will be able to handle up to 73 million gallons per year of biodiesel distribution.
"It's so important to get those components in place," Mortenson said. "Once that's installation is complete, we do have plans to expand our actual production capacity."
That production maximum is currently 13 million gallons a year.
As a result of the expansion and additional production, the plant is running around the clock, seven days a week, it has added six new employees in the past two months, Mortenson said.
In announcing the USDA grant in late September, Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, said developing biodiesel production reduces the nation's dependence on foreign oil, helps protect the environment and creates jobs.
"By supporting great innovators at home, we can create more jobs at a time when they are needed the most," he said in a statement.