WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Keokuk Biodiesel Plant Contents Sold

Keokuk, IA – A consortium of local businessmen announced the formation of Tri-City Energy four years ago. The company was to produce soybean-based biodiesel.

The original plan called for a five-million gallon plant at 410 Johnson Street, a 30-million gallon plant along the Mississippi River, and a soybean crushing facility. The $50-million project was supposed to create about 60 jobs.

Tri-City Energy only produced fuel for a limited amount of time because of the rising cost of soybeans and the slumping economy. It has been more than a year since the plant was on-line.

The result was a court-ordered foreclosure auction on January 20.

A group out of New Jersey purchased the biodiesel production equipment and a 51% share in a related company (Keokuk Glycerin LLC) for $55,000. A group out of Ohio purchased Tri-City Energy's lab equipment for about $47,000.

The equipment is expected to be shipped overseas for future use.

The actual plant was not sold, during the auction, because a reserve bid was not met.

BFSG International had expressed an interest in purchasing Tri-City Energy. A deal with the Switzerland-based firm was not completed in time to prevent the auction.

The future of Tri-City Energy is unknown. Company representatives did not answer repeated calls after the auction.