MEXICO, Mo. - Mid-America Biofuels LLC opened the largest soy biodiesel plant in Missouri here last week.



The Mexico, Mo. plant, a partnership of Biofuels LLC, Archer Daniels Midland, Ray-Carroll County Grain Growers Inc., MFA Oil Co., and GROWMARK Inc., will have an annual production capacity of 30 million gallons.



Soy biodiesel, an alternative to traditional petroleum-based diesel fuel, is made from soybean oil. It burns cleaner than traditional diesel, can be used in any diesel engine with few or no engine modifications and is a renewable source of fuel.



"Biodiesel demand is growing fast, and we believe Missouri is the right place to produce biodiesel and fill that demand," said Warren Stemme, a Missouri farmer in St. Charles County and president of Mid-America Biofuels LLC. "Additionally, we have an unbeatable team in place with each member providing resources and experience which is sure to make Mid-America Biofuels a huge success."



Stemme is also president of the Missouri Soybean Association and a director of the National Biodiesel Board.



During an equity drive in 2005, nearly 400 agricultural producers in Missouri purchased shares in Biofuels, LLC, which formed the joint venture between Archer Daniels Midland Company; Ray-Carroll County Grain Growers, Inc.; MFA Oil Company; and Growmark, Inc., according to the Missouri Soybean Association. Since the start of construction in October, 2005, this group has created many additional jobs in Missouri and soon it will start increasing revenue for farmers.



"Biodiesel is an American soybean farmer success story, and the national effort started right here with Missouri soybean farmers, and has now emanated throughout the country," said Joe Jobe, CEO of NBB. "One of the first public fuel pumps in the nation to offer B20 was at a Conoco station in Jefferson City, and now there are more than 600 nationwide, and more than 500 fleets using the cleaner fuel including the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA. It is rewarding to see the effort come full circle with a major farmer-owned biodiesel production facility in Missouri that will benefit Missouri agriculture and Missouri jobs."



Mid-America Biofuels plans to begin operating at full capacity within a year. There are currently 45 plants operating nationwide.



More information about biodiesel is available at www.biodiesel.org.



SOURCE: National Biodiesel Board and Missouri Soybean Association news releases.