HERO BX, formerly Lake Erie Biofuels, LLC, is the country’s largest producer of biodiesel. Last week, the company announced it has been awarded a $1,640,250 million grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority to complete the company’s expansion project – increasing their yearly output of low-cost, high quality biodiesel, from 45 million gallons to 55 million gallons. HERO BX is matching the award amount with its own funds for a total of $3,280,500.
“It is imperative that biofuels companies that are producing fuel today continue to receive financial support,” said Leonard Kosar, CEO of HERO BX. “The state of Pennsylvania is setting a precedent apart from the federal government and many other states – it has recognized the economic, environmental and security value of supporting biofuels companies that are already in production. We cannot and will not be able to produce the next generation of biodiesel and ethanol if we abandon first generation biofuels producers such as HERO BX.”
The grant was awarded as part of Governor Edward G. Rendell’s goal to increase alternative energy opportunities within the state. The funds, which will be distributed through Green Energy Works!, is part of the federal funding that the state will receive under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (Stimulus Bill). The program goal is to invest more than $99.6 million of federal funding to supplement the state’s Alternative Energy Investment Fund.
There is a huge economic opportunity for Pennsylvania to produce biofuels. Through their “Sustainable Crops Initiative,” HERO BX is working with agronomists at Pennsylvania State University to pioneer the use of the camelina. The crop is an ideal feedstock because it’s a weed that grows in sub-optimum soil, doesn’t need water or fertilizer and produces seven times more oil than soybeans. In addition, the high Omega-3 by-product has been approved for use in poultry feed. In Pennsylvania alone, there are 200,000 acres of old strip mines that are ideal for growing the feedstock.
Source: HERO BX