Blending terminals open in CA, MS

By Kris Bevill | January 04, 2010
Report posted Jan. 6, 2010, at 3:23 p.m. CST

Blendstar LLC, a Houston-based developer and operator of biofuels terminals that is majority owned by Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc., has opened a new terminal in Collins, Miss. The facility has a storage capacity of 180,000 gallons and a throughput capacity of 7 million gallons. Both ethanol and biodiesel are expected to be received at the terminal.

Blendstar also operates terminals in Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn., Louisville, Ky., Little Rock, Ark., Bossier City, La., Oklahoma City, and Birmingham, Ala. According to Blendstar, all of its terminals, with the exception of the Knoxville location, can receive both truck and rail shipments and are strategically located near petroleum terminals. The Collins terminal offers the largest storage capacity of Blendstar's facilities.

GPRE owns 51 percent of Blendstar and invested in the company as part of its diversification strategy, according to GPRE president and CEO Todd Becker. He said Blendstar's newest terminal location on the CN Railroad will provide a new market opportunity for ethanol produced at GPRE's 100 MMgy Obion, Tenn., plant in addition to improving Mississippi's blending capabilities. "We plan to continue to support Blendstar's expansion, including several projects currently at different stages of development," Becker added. "Blendstar is focused on providing solutions for underserved markets that want an efficient way to blend and distribute biofuels into the nation's fuel supply."

In December, U.S. Development Group LLC opened an ethanol terminal in Rialto, Calif., in order to meet anticipated increased in-state ethanol demand, according to the company. The West Colton rail terminal, which will serve the San Bernardino and Riverside County-Inland Empire region, is served by Union Pacific railroad and has an off-load capacity of 15,000 barrels of ethanol per day. The facility is capable of receiving unit trains, but requires approximately two days for offload. Development plans for 2010 include an expansion that will enable the terminal to turn around a 100-car unit train in 24 hours. In addition, the company will be constructing a pipeline approximately 1-mile long which will connect the terminal to nearby blending stations.