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Biggest U.S. Biodiesel Plant Opens in Houston

HOUSTON, Texas, June 5, 2008 (ENS) – A former waste oil and chemical refinery has been transformed over the past year into a zero emissions biodiesel production plant in Houston. When GreenHunter Energy opened the $70 million biodiesel refinery and glycerin distillery Monday, Texas Governor Rick Perry was on hand.

“The transformation of an old waste-oil refinery into a renewable fuel campus is symbolic of our state’s commitment to continually moving towards greater energy independence,” said the governor.

GreenHunter Energy’s Renewable Fuels Campus is a zero emissions facility with four facets – a 105 million gallon per year biodiesel refinery, a 700,000 barrel bulk liquid terminal operation, a 200 million pound per year glycerin distillation system, and a 45,000 barrel-per-month methanol distillation tower.

The biodiesel refinery is the largest in the United States and can use 100 percent animal fats, 100 percent vegetable oils, or any blend of the two interchangeably.

The finished product is of the highest quality light-colored biodiesel, more commonly known as “water-white” biodiesel.

“We are very proud of the men and women who have worked tirelessly to create this extraordinary facility,” said Gary C. Evans, chairman and CEO of the publicly traded company.

“The significance of this event began just 12 months ago when we acquired an underutilized asset at an exceptional value,” said Evans. “We then executed on a strategy and business plan that significantly reduced the risk to the company and our shareholders, while at the same time converting this facility into the largest and most versatile biodiesel refinery in the U.S.”


A biodiesel Benz
(Photo credit unknown)

“But there is more to the story than just building the facility in record time and at below market costs,” he said. “We have created many new long-term jobs for Texans and we now have the opportunity to participate in our country’s goal of reducing its continued dependence on foreign crude oil supplies.”

Headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, GreenHunter Energy was formed to be the first publicly traded renewable energy company based in the United States that provides investors with a portfolio of diversified assets in the alternative energy sector.

Representing the U.S. Department of Energy at the opening ceremony, Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer said, “While there is currently no silver bullet that will solve America’s energy and environmental challenges, we know that biofuels are an indispensible component of the solution.”

“Through the substantial investments companies like GreenHunter Energy, Inc. are making in support of renewable energy, the private sector is helping drive the very innovation this country needs to bring about a new energy future,” Kupfer said, “one that is cleaner, more sustainable, more secure and less reliant on carbon-based fossil fuels.”

Biodiesel blends of 20 percent and below will work in any diesel engine without the need for modifications, according to the National Biodiesel Board. These blends will operate in diesel engines just like petroleum diesel.

If the blend has been properly treated by the petroleum company, it will work year round, even in cold climates. B20 also provides similar horsepower, torque, and mileage as diesel.

GreenHunter Energy is focused on the renewable energy sectors of wind, hydro, geothermal, solar, biofuels, and biomass power plants. Stated assets consist of leases of real property for future development of wind energy projects in Montana, New Mexico, California, Texas, and China. For more on Gary C. Evans click here [www.orionethanol.com].

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