Ike and BioFuels
producer GreenHunter Energy says that hurricane damage to it's
gulf coast refinery — currently
the largest in the nation — will take it out of production
for 6 to 8 weeks.
The GreenHunter facility
is capable of producing 100 million gallons of biodiesel per
year (Mgy) using a combination of animal fats
and vegetable oils. Prior to Hurricane Ike, they had been ramping
up production and last Friday announced that they had achieved
a 65 Mgy output. It’s unclear how the hurricane damage will
affect their time frame for reaching full capacity.
According to a press
release, damages at the facility were mostly due to floodwater — which crested the 100-year flood plain — and
not the wind damage that had been expected. According to Bruce
Baughman, Senior Vice President of Technology and Engineering:
“So far in our
assessment of this disaster, we have concluded that fortunately,
damage to major process equipment is minimal.
We have discovered damage to smaller reagent tanks, intermediate
tanks and their interconnecting piping and pumps, as well as damage
to the foundations of smaller tanks. Given the sheer volume of
water and the extreme flood levels that we faced, our initial assessment
is that we sustained overall minor to moderate impact to the Renewable
Fuels Campus from Hurricane Ike.”
losses included damage to some office space, reagent tanks and
foundations, as well as two bulk storage tanks.
The company had evacuated all employees prior to Ike’s landfall
so there were no injuries reported.
Written by Nick Chambers
Published on September 16th, 2008