Buffalo Lake 18MMgy ethanol plant reopens under new management amidst fines, closures

September 11, 2014 |

In Minnesota, Buffalo Lake Advanced Biofuels is reopening their 18MMgy ethanol plant that was idled in 2010. The company will be using new solids separation technology developed by Yield & Capacity Group LLC to process thin and whole stillage through an innovative system that eliminates the need for evaporators and centrifuges.

The plant is reopening after a series of closures and reopenings as it changed hands from Minnesota Energy Cooperative to Purified Renewable Energy to investment group West Ventures.

The plant has been plagued with fines since it opened. It received $1 million in fines from Minnesota Pollution Control in 2009 over air and water quality violations. The most significant source of the water quality violations was that the company built and operated a different wastewater treatment system than was permitted by the MPCA.  The system did not perform adequately to ensure that pollutants discharged from the facility met the permit’s effluent limits.

In 2012, after Buffalo Lake acquired the facility, the amount was reduced to $285,000. And, earlier this year as Buffalo Lake attempted to get the plant back open, the amount was further reduced to $10,000.

The plant ran intermittently in 2012, and then since June as various repairs were tested.

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Category: Fuels

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