Greenfield, MA – After many years in development, Northeast Biodiesel Corporation LLC (Northeast Biodiesel) commenced biodiesel production at its 1.75 million gallon per year biodiesel facility, located at 179 Silvio O. Conte Drive in the Greenfield Industrial Park in Greenfield.
Eight worker owners were hired and training in June and have been at work refurbishing the plant and preparing test batches all summer. The corporation has closed on $1.3 million in loans and is now automating biodiesel production at the facility and finalizing a sales agreement with its first major customers.
Northeast Biodiesel will turn used cooking oil from restaurants, cafeterias and food processing plants into biodiesel that can displace petroleum diesel in oil heat systems and diesel engines. The plant will soon provide 1.75 million gallons per year of low carbon, clean burning, locally manufactured fuel annually for heating and transportation.
The loans secured between May and September have allowed the company to commence the production of US biodiesel standard ASTM D6751 compliant biodiesel at the Greenfield facility. Launch financing included $500,000 from Mass Development, $650,000 from The Live Insurance Community Investment Initiative, $75,000 from the Franklin County CDC, $75,000 from the Local Enterprise Assistance Fund, and $64,000 from Co-op Fund of New England. Common Good, a donor-advised fund within the Rudolph Steiner Foundation’s Innovations in Social Capital, and 104 local lenders and investors provided earlier loans and investments.
Elevate Small Business, the technical assistance arm of LEAF, acted as the financial advisor to Northeast Biodiesel. Northeast Biodiesel plans to expand its annual production capacity to 3.5 million gallons per year to supply local and regional markets with a cleaner alternative to petroleum-based diesel fuel.
The Northeast Biodiesel Worker Co-op incorporated on April 23 with eight founding members. The Worker Co-op will staff operations at the plant maintaining 24/7 production and testing of grade A biodiesel. Emily Kawano from Wellspring Cooperative Network has played a major role in developing the NEB Worker Co-op. She led co-op trainings for new Northeast Biodiesel workers and has been assisting with facilitation of worker co-op meetings. The NEB Worker Co-op will be collaborating with other worker cooperatives in Western Massachusetts through the Wellspring Cooperative Network.