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Illinois Science Jobs Created by Biodiesel Plant

Posted on December 30, 2008

A new biodiesel plant opened in Danville, Ill., this month, creating some new Illinois science jobs.

The plant, operated by Blackhawk Biofuels, has created 27 new jobs. The company recently created its first biodiesel, which is stored in holding tanks at the site, according to an article by the Commercial News. Renewable Energy Group contracted with Blackhawk to purchase animal fat feed stock to be used in combination with soybean from Bunge to create the biodiesel.

The state provided about $20 million to supplement a $75 million private investment for the plant. The Illinois Finance Authority also provided almost $5 million in Opportunity Returns grants through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The plant, which is located on formal residential property, is situated in east central Illinois to help serve the northeast and southeast states. Its placement in Danville on the rail line also makes product transport easier.

Many people in the area are hoping the biodiesel industry will be able to curb many of the problems plaguing the rest of the economy.

“The signals for the next year for biodiesel are optimistic,” REG Spokeswoman Alicia Clancy said in the article. “There are drivers in the industry that are showing that (biodiesel is in demand).”

Federal legislation has called for 500 million gallons of biodiesel to begin use by 2009. This renewable fuel standard will increase to 1 billion gallons by 2012.

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