After four years of planning, setbacks and more planning, the developer of the proposed Fulton biodiesel plant told the council construction could begin "within the next two or three months."
Boyd Ware appeared before the Fulton City Council during its work session Tuesday night to provide an update on the project's progress.
"Structurally we have agreed to a joint venture with two other companies out of Illinois," Ware said, noting construction on the plant extraction facilities in Mexico already is underway. "Part of the funds have been put in escrow. Once the contracts are finalized and signed, within the next two or three months we should be able to move forward and get started with construction (here)."
With the joint venture, Fulton would be one of three facilities - including one in Illinois and one in Wisconsin - producing a projected 76 million gallons of renewable diesel per year.
"Fulton would be a 30 million-gallon facility," Ware said.
He noted that in the years since he first started promoting the idea of a biodiesel production plant in Fulton, technology has changed to the point that the plant now will be producing renewable diesel rather than biodiesel. Ware said renewable diesel is chemically 100 percent compatible with diesel fuel.
Ward 2 Councilman Lowe Cannell asked Ware to clarify the difference between biodiesel and renewable diesel.
"With biodiesel you remove the glycerin. With renewable diesel, you do not remove the glycerin - it actually becomes part of the fuel," Ware said. "It's a whole different process, and you don't have as many byproducts."