By CNJ staff
Another biodiesel plant is coming to Clovis, according to a news release from the New Mexico Economic Development Department.
Gov. Bill Richardson is scheduled to make the announcement at 2 p.m. today in Albuquerque, according to a media advisory from his office.
It would be the second multi-million-dollar biodiesel plant to be built in Clovis.
ARES Blue Sun Development is expected to break ground in mid-March for a facility in the Clovis Industrial Park that will have an annual capacity of 15 million gallons.
Local and state officials on Wednesday declined to provide details about the second plant.
Clovis Industrial Development Corp. Executive Director Chase Gentry said in December he was “90 percent certain” an $80 million facility that would turn animal by-products into fuel was coming to Clovis.
Gentry said Wednesday he could not comment on the pending deal other than to confirm a second biodiesel facility is coming to Clovis.
The Clovis Industrial Park contains more than 200 acres of land in southeast Clovis.
Gerry Runte, general manager of ARES Corp.’s Clean Energy business unit, said the second Clovis biodiesel facility does not involve ARES. He said local and state officials have told him the company is a unit of an Australian firm.
Runte said his company’s Clovis operations would not be affected by the new operation because the two biodiesel companies are in different markets.
Runte said he understands the other company uses animal fat as feedstock, which is different from the agricultural vegetable oils the ARES Blue Sun facility will use.
He also said he has been told the new plant would produce as much as 80 million gallons of biodiesel annually.