Farmer leaders from throughout the country have descended on the Big Apple to see the bourgeoning Bioheat® industry in action. The National Biodiesel Board is hosting about 20 farmers Dec. 11 – 13 on a biodiesel and Bioheat tour of New York City.
“New York City is a major energy center,” said Tom Verry, Director of Development for the National Biodiesel Board. “High volumes of biodiesel are used here, too, which makes it the perfect place to show soybean farmers how their long-term vision for biodiesel and Bioheat has become a reality.”
The group will tour CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, where energy is bought and sold. An educational session there on the Bioheat market includes speakers such as John Maniscalco, president of the New York Oil Heating Association; New York City Councilman James Gennaro; and Peter Iwanowicz, energy advisor to the Office of the Governor.
Bioheat is biodiesel mixed with home heating oil. Starting in October 2012, all heating oil sold within New York City will contain at least 2 percent biodiesel.
The group will also tour Central Park and JFK International Airport, getting an up-close look at the biodiesel facilities of New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Both use biodiesel blends in their diesel vehicles, as does the Department of Sanitation. Steven Levy of Sprague Energy, a leading biodiesel supplier in the area, says those three agencies use about 11 million gallons of biodiesel blends a year, ranging from 5 – 50 percent biodiesel (B5 – B50).
“It’s exciting for us to see the passion in New York City among biodiesel’s many champions,” said Greg Anderson, a soybean farmer in Newman Grove, Nebraska, taking the tour for the second time. “New York City represents more than just another market for biodiesel. It’s a strategic partner in furthering biodiesel acceptance in the Northeast, and nationwide. Our champions here want to leverage their position as energy leaders to promote biodiesel growth. That’s a powerful partnership.”
The farmers are also visiting the facilities of Metro Energy, one of the largest petroleum distributors in New York City and the Northeast. In 2009 the company sold 10 million gallons of biodiesel to be used as Bioheat in New York City alone. They are building a 110 million gallon biodiesel production facility in Brooklyn.
“The biodiesel and Bioheat industries would not be where they are today without the support of farmers, the United Soybean Board, and the soybean checkoff in developing this fuel,” said Paul Nazzaro, who runs the Bioheat program for the National Biodiesel Board. “It’s a pleasure to show them how their vision has materialized into reality.”
Source: National Biodiesel Board