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2005 Ag Innovator of the Year: SoyMor

In 2005, SoyMor opened as the nation’s largest biodiesel manufacturing facility and the second to be built in Minnesota. The refinery has the capability to produce 30 million gallons of biodiesel per year from soybean oil, processing 3,150 gallons per day from 1,700 acres worth of soybeans — for an annual total of about 18 million bushels of soybeans.

The company was idled in 2008, but was purchased in 2011 by Renewable Energy Group, the nation’s largest biodiesel producer, resulting in 20 new jobs at facilities in Albert Lea, Minnesota. In October 2012 the company announced that it would embark on a $20 million dollar upgrade to the Albert Lea plant to accommodate multiple feedstock sources to produce biodiesel. That upgrade was completed in August 2013. Today the southern Minnesota plant continues to produce biodiesel for customers in Minnesota and also ships it to other markets in the US.