Indiana's pace of rapid growth in bioenergy and energy self-sufficiency took another step forward March 8 as Governor Mitch Daniels announced that Louis Dreyfus Agriculture Industries LLC plans to build the world's largest biodiesel plant near Claypool, Indiana. With this facility, two other biodiesel and six ethanol plants currently under construction, Indiana will become a leading producer in the biofuels industry.

Indiana is the fifth largest corn state and the fourth largest soybean state and with the facilities under construction, the state will produce an additional 400 million gallons of ethanol annually and 95 million gallons of biodiesel (including Louis Dreyfus). Indiana's goal is to produce a combined 1 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel annually.

Through the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, the state has reached an agreement with Louis Dreyfus to build the project in two phases. The first will be a 50-million bushel/year soybean processing plant, and the second phase will be the biodiesel production facility. The facilities will be located near Claypool in Kosciusko County in northeastern Indiana. The plant will utilize Indiana soybeans.

Upon completion, the Louis Dreyfus facility will be one of the world's first biodiesel production plants to be fully integrated with a soybean processing plant. About 260,000 metric tons of soybean oil from the plant will be used each year for biodiesel production. In addition, 1 million tons of protein rich soybean meal produced each year will be used by the livestock and poultry industry. The biodiesel plant will produce up to 250,000 gallons of biodiesel per day, or more than 80 million gallons per year. Eighty-five ongoing jobs will be created at the plant, and it is estimated that 300 people will be employed during the 12 to 18 month construction phase of the facility.