Biodiesel producer Blue Sun appoints Bruce Baughman as chief operating officer

Greentech Lead America:Blue Sun, a producer of biodiesel, announced it has hired Bruce Baughman as chief operating officer.Biodiesel is an emerging opportunity for clean energy producers.  There will be historic opportunities in biodiesel in 2013 for those players still able to afford strategic acquisitions as struggling first generation plants come up for sale.

(source: eworld)


Blue Sun bases its strategy on the excess capacity present in the industry. With the new appointment Blue Sun is looking to maximize this opportunity.

Baughman will play a key role in identifying first-generation plants for acquisition, and integrating Blue Sun’s latest enzymatic processing technology into the St. Joseph, Missouri, biodiesel facility.

Blue Sun estimates their current technology will reduce net production costs by over 90 cents per gallon – a $27 million cost reduction for a 30 million gallon per year plant.

The $1 per gallon federal Biodiesel Tax Credit established in 2005 led to the boom for the biodiesel industry and led to a flurry of plant construction. Then, with the 2008 global recession and other industry challenges, many of these plants were idled or competitively derailed.

The ethanol industry got a new breather recently when the EPA denied the requests for the waiver of the renewable fuel standard  (RFS). The RFS program was created under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005, and established the first renewable fuel volume mandate in the United States. As required under EPAct, the original RFS program (RFS1) required 7.5 billion gallons of renewable- fuel to be blended into gasoline by 2012.

Blue Sun launched a process to evaluate, control, and upgrade the best of these legacy facilities with a goal of creating a network of the most technologically advanced biodiesel facilities in the U.S.

“Bruce fits right into the Blue Sun strategy,” said Leigh Freeman, CEO. “Strong teams are the key to successfully establishing new technologies and competitive advantage in the market. What Bruce is bringing will ensure the success of the Blue Sun St. Joe project and help Blue Sun in the development of the next generation of biodiesel production facilities.”

Baughman will initially direct activities at Blue Sun’s upgrade of the St. Joseph, Missouri biodiesel processing facility. This project is installing new processing technology that will drastically decrease net production costs and increase co-product value by over 300 percent. He will work with Blue Sun management in identifying, evaluating and acquiring additional biodiesel facilities and lead technology evolution activities at those facilities.

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