A biofuel startup with a Baltimore production plant is planning to expand and hire this year, as orders for its cleaner-burning fuel grow, according to the firm's chief executive officer.
New Generation Biofuels, which processes vegetable and soybean oil into fuel for heating buildings, generating electricity and running ships, intends to triple production capacity at its southern Baltimore facility from 5 million gallons per year to 15 million gallons annually, said CEO Cary Claiborne. As production increases, the company could hire up to six full-time employees to run the plant, he said.
New Generation has produced 185,000 gallons of fuel since it started manufacturing in February, and it moved its headquarters in the summer from Florida to Columbia, said Claiborne, a resident of Ellicott City. Before joining the biofuel venture, he held executive posts with a Maryland pharmaceutical company and Constellation Energy.
The firm needs to expand its plant to handle a backlog of orders that has grown to 10 million gallons a year, he said. It has contracts to supply fuel to Delta Chemicals in Baltimore, Tri-gas and Oil in Salisbury and several other Maryland customers, Claiborne said, plus a deal inked this summer with a New York-based distributor for a power company.
In addition, the company is in discussions with Baltimore for a yearlong test of its fuel in the boilers of some municipal buildings and possibly some schools. Cathy Powell, spokeswoman for the city's Department of General Services, said New Generation's fuel burned satisfactorily in shorter tests last year at the Eastern Health District building and at the Pimlico training facility used by police and fire personnel.
The company markets its fuel as a cleaner-burning alternative to conventional heating oil, enabling customers to reduce air pollution and meet regulatory requirements for using renewable fuel. It recently sold $1.5 million worth of stock to help finance the expansion.