Make us your home page

Ethanol plan scrapped, but biodiesel may replace it

TAMPA — Exit ethanol, enter biodiesel.

Port Sutton EnviroFuels has shelved plans to build Florida's first ethanol plant, blaming a "frivolous" lawsuit that delayed the project and cost the company its financing. A Texas company has stepped in to take over Port Sutton's 22-acre lease and build a biodiesel plant instead.

GreenHunter Energy, based near Dallas, plans to invest up to $100-million in a biodiesel plant and terminal that will produce 50-million gallons a year. The plant will make the fuel from vegetable oils and animal fats. The company also plans to harvest oil from jatropha trees grown in Central and South America. The project is slated for completion by the end of 2010 and will employ 40 to 50 people, said Kirk Trosclair, who directs remote terminal operations for GreenHunter Energy.

A GreenHunter Energy subsidiary operates the largest biodiesel plant in the country, with the capacity to produce 105-million gallons a year, Trosclair said. The company is also involved in biofuels, biomass and wind energy, he said.

The 22-acre site near U.S. 41 had been slated for a 44-million-gallon-a-year ethanol plant announced by Port Sutton EnviroFuels in 2006. City residents and environmental activists complained about the air pollution the ethanol plant would produce, and about its demand for nearly 400,000 gallons of water a day. The project also became entangled in a lawsuit from a Port of Tampa neighbor.

In March, Port Sutton EnviroFuels said it had scaled back the project to just a storage and blending facility. The project then had trouble securing new financing, said Bradley Krohn, president of U.S. EnviroFuels, one of the investors. The company decided to pull out of the Tampa project, but is pleased that the Tampa site will still be used to make biofuels, Krohn said.

Joyce Schauer, a community activist who lives on Harbour Island and opposed the original plans for an ethanol plant, said she's glad the ethanol plant failed, but wants to know more about how GreenHunter's plans will impact air and water. GreenHunter plans to host neighborhood meetings next week for residents of Davis Islands and Harbour Island.

Asjylyn Loder can be reached at or (813) 225-3117.


If you go

GreenHunter will host two neighborhood meetings on Thursday at 511 W Bay St., Suite 400, Tampa. Davis Islands residents are invited to come at 6 p.m., and Harbour Island residents at 7. To reserve a spot, call Stephanie Stelle at (813) 258-5858.

Ethanol plan scrapped, but biodiesel may replace it 08/28/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 2, 2008 10:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Memorial Day sales not enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay malls


    TAMPA — Memorial Day sales at Tampa Bay area malls were not enough to compete with the beach and backyard barbecues this holiday weekend.

    Memorial Day sales weren't enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay area malls over the long weekend. 
  2. Austin software company acquires second Tampa business


    Austin, Tex.-based Asure Software acquired Tampa's Compass HRM Inc. late last week for $6 million. Compass focuses on HR and payroll.

    [Company photo]
  3. Hackers hide cyberattacks in social media posts


    SAN FRANCISCO — It took only one attempt for Russian hackers to make their way into the computer of a Pentagon official. But the attack didn't come through an email or a file buried within a seemingly innocuous document.

    Jay Kaplan and Mark Kuhr, former NSA employees and co-founders of Synack, a cybersecurity company, in their office in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2013. While last year's hacking of senior Democratic Party officials raised awareness of the damage caused if just a handful of employees click on the wrong emails, few people realize that a message on Twitter or Facebook could give an attacker similar access to their system. 
[New York Times file photo]
  4. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  5. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts


    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]