Largest U.S. Biodiesel Plant Breaks Ground in Indiana

CLAYPOOL, Indiana, August 23, 2007 (ENS) - Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels hosted a groundbreaking Tuesday for what will be the largest biodiesel refinery in the United States and one of the largest in the world. A crowd of close to 2,000 people attended the event.

The $150 million Louis Dreyfus Soybean Processing and Biodiesel Plant to be constructed just southwest of Claypool in north-central Indiana, will process nearly 50 million bushels of soybeans annually.

It is expected to produce over one million tons of soybean meal for livestock and poultry feed and 80 million gallons of biodiesel for blending into motor fuel each year.

The plant will also produce more than 80 million pounds of glycerin a year as a by-product to be used in soaps and detergents.

Construction of the project is expected to take about 18 months so the plant is expected to begin processing 2007 crop soybeans in early 2008.

This is the first entry into the biodiesel field for the French company that has been trading in grains internationally since 1851 and has been operating in the United States for 98 years.

Louis Dreyfus Commodities has an emerging worldwide presence in the expanding biofuels sector, including a leading position in the Brazilian ethanol market.

Ciro Echesortu, head of global oilseeds for Louis Dreyfus Commodities, said, "The vision, the support and the cooperation of Governor Daniels, Lieutenant Governor Skillman, their staff, the town of Claypool and Kosciusko County were all essential in bringing this Louis Dreyfus soybean processing and biofuels investment to Indiana.

"We feel very welcome here and are confident Claypool will be a good location to source soybeans and to sell soybean meal to the feed markets in Indiana and the Southeast as well as to sell biodiesel for blending in Indiana and the surrounding Midwestern states."

In an enormous economic boost for the region, the Claypool plant is expected to purchase $450 million worth of soybeans from Indiana and southern Michigan and employ 70 full time workers.

The company says it is developing additional biofuel assets in the United States, including an ethanol plant in Norfolk, Nebraska.

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