Hurricane Ike Hammers America's Largest Biodiesel Refinery
In commenting on the structural damage, Bruce Baughman, senior vice president of Technology and Engineering for GreenHunter BioFuels, stated, "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."
At full capacity, the GreenHunter refinery is capable of producing up to 100 million barrels of biodiesel per year. Just before Ike hit, the firm announced that it had managed to ramp up to a 65-million barrel level. So far, no further word on how this setback will impact its total 2008 output.