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Biodiesel Makes a Splash with South Florida Boaters
Fuel increasingly available in South Florida, its use encouraged.

Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Florida is home to a wide range of biodiesel users including: the state government; Florida Power and Light; the City of Jacksonville; Everglades National Park; Miami and Ft. Lauderdale Airports; the City of Coconut Creek; and the Ft. Lauderdale water taxis.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Joined by South Florida organizations and businesses, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) today announced the increasing availability of biodiesel for boaters in South Florida. Gold Coast Clean Cities and the South Florida Regional Planning Council encouraged boaters to consider switching to the domestically produced fuel.

Biodiesel is a cleaner burning alternative to petroleum-based diesel that is made from renewable resources like soybeans and other natural fats and oils, grown in the United States.

"Florida is one of the country’s leading producers and users of biodiesel and is helping to set an example for the nation, particularly through its increasing use of the fuel in marine applications," said Joe Jobe, NBB executive director. "We were pleased to highlight the state’s leadership during our 2005 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo which was held here this week and brought together biodiesel suppliers and supporters from across the country."

Jobe pointed out that Florida is home to a wide range of biodiesel users including: the state government; Florida Power and Light; the City of Jacksonville; Everglades National Park; Miami and Ft. Lauderdale Airports; the City of Coconut Creek; and the Ft. Lauderdale water taxis.

"Since switching to biodiesel three years ago in all of our water taxis, we have experienced performance similar to petroleum diesel, but have found less engine wear and tear because of biodiesel’s increased lubricity and easier boat cleanup because there is less soot," said Bob Bekoff, President Water Taxi, Inc. "Biodiesel is not only better for the environment and human health because it reduces harmful emissions, but it is good for domestic energy security since it reduces our dependence on foreign oil."

By April 15, 2005, TransMontaigne will begin offering a B100 biodiesel product as well as various biodiesel blends at their Port Everglades Coastal Fuels terminal -- the first renewable fuels facility of its size in South Florida. The TransMontaigne facility currently supplies refined

products to a wide-range of petroleum distributors, retailers and commercial-industrial consumers, including marine users such as tour boats and cruise ships. TransMontaigne will also offer biodiesel through a retail card lock system which is being constructed at the same location. This facility will be utilized for purchases by commercial-industrial, private fleets and other transportation-related companies. The biodiesel will be supplied by Peter Cremer North America, LC, and West Central.

"By offering a high-quality biodiesel product and various biodiesel blends at the wholesale rack, we hope to significantly facilitate the availability and distribution process for renewable fuels in South Florida," said Rick Eaton, Executive Vice President, TransMontaigne. He noted that they plan on offering a BQ-9000 certified product, providing assurances the fuel meets and maintains ASTM-grade quality throughout the distribution process. BQ-9000 is a program created by the National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission, an independent committee of NBB.

In addition, Purada Processing LLC -- a subsidiary of World Energy Alternatives LLC -- operates one of the largest multi-feedstock biodiesel production facilities in the United States. The plant, located in Lakeland, has the capacity to produce 18 million gallons of biodiesel a year.

"Here in South Florida where fifty percent of the air pollution comes from motor vehicles, biodiesel can play an important role in reducing transportation born pollutants to help protect South Florida’s marine environment and ensure that our region remains the world's tourist destination of choice," said Carlos Andres Gonzalez, Florida Gold Coast Clean Cities Coordinator.

The news conference was followed by a South Florida Marine Biodiesel Workshop sponsored by the NBB, Florida Gold Coast Clean Cities, U.S. Department of Agriculture Biodiesel Education Program and TransMontaigne. The workshop was designed to educate boaters about biodiesel’s benefits and its increasing availability in South Florida.

Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine in pure form or blended with petroleum diesel.

More than 500 major fleets use biodiesel nationwide and the fuel is increasingly being used in marine applications. NBB is the nonprofit trade association for the biodiesel industry and is headquartered in Jefferson City, Mo.


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