HOUSTON — Nova Biosource Fuels, Inc., announced Wednesday it has entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire the 10-million-gallon-per-year biodiesel refinery that was designed and built by Nova for Clinton County Bio Energy LLC in Clinton.

The plant was the first commercial-scale biodiesel refinery to utilize Nova’s proprietary process technology. Nova began construction in March 2006, and the refinery has since produced in excess of 4 million gallons of a biodiesel from soybean oil and other low free fatty acid feedstocks.

Nathan Baker, plant operations manager, and all current plant employees will be joining Nova as full-time employees. Plant Manager and Co-founder Dan Holesinger will continue to provide management services as a consultant for an interim period.

“We have worked hand-in-glove with the Nova Team for nearly three years, from conception to production, and have been impressed with Nova’s technology, people and knowledge of the biodiesel industry.” said Holesinger. “We are excited about joining the Nova Team.”

Co-founder Bob Holesinger was equally enthused about the acquisition by Nova.

“We’re proud we had a group of business people brave enough to take a chance to bring a new business to the Clinton area, and bring millions of dollars in investments. We’re happy we could do that. And we’re excited about Nova, since they have the ability and resources to make that business grow,” he said.

“We are pleased that the Clinton County Bio Energy professionals will be joining Nova,” said Kenneth T. Hern, chairman and CEO of Nova.

“Only those of us that are pioneering the process of converting fats, oils and greases into biodiesel fully understand the challenges associated with operating a biodiesel refinery. The Clinton County team has demonstrated its ability to continuously produce ASTM D6751-07, a biodiesel for its customers, since commissioning of the plant last year.”

Nova initially intends to modify the refinery, to incorporate its patented pretreatment process to enable the use of a wider variety of more economical feedstocks, such as corn oil extracted from dried distillers grains, yellow and brown greases, and various blends of beef, pork and poultry fats. These feedstocks contain higher levels of free fatty acids than higher cost soybean oil, which is the primary feedstock currently used by the refinery.

After installation of the pretreatment process equipment, Nova intends to work with the Clinton Regional Development Corp. on its option to procure additional acreage and railroad access to allow for a 20-million-gallon-per-year facility expansion.

“I'm pleased to be actively assisting Nova with doubling the size of the facility's acreage in our industrial Lincoln Railport development,” said Steven Ames, president of the Clinton Regional Development Corp. "We are developing a world-class industrial park with unparalleled logistical advantages to access major Midwest markets. We are excited that Nova will be a part of our growth.”

“We are excited about becoming a permanent resident and active citizen of the community,” said Hern. “The efficient operation of the refinery is a testament to the skill, knowledge and work ethic of the Clinton County professionals and we are proud to have the opportunity to continue to provide clean biodiesel to the local economy, using locally procured feedstocks with local workers.”

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