BP Site Finally Sees Activity
by Gary Pinnell (Equities.com/Highlands Today) After four years of talk, British Petroleum still hasn’t built that ethanol production facility on State Road 70, at the southeastern edge of Highlands County.
However, activity is increasing:
–Plans were filed and construction has begun on BP’s Lake Placid office building;
–Tourism Director John Scherlacher received an email on Oct. 18 from Devina J. Stewart, the Jacobs Engineering field office manager at the BP Biofuels Project in Houston;
–A turn lane into the proposed Brighton plant is under construction.
On Aug. 10, Michael Chapman bought a permit to construct 6,000 square feet of office space at Mid Town Center Plaza, 147 Tower St., Lake Placid.
The $202,000 remodeling plan includes four offices, cubicles for 28 workers, a business center, a simulator room and two training areas.
…Currently, Lykes Brothers, in partnership with BP Biofuels, has planted nearly 3,500 acres of energy grass for what will become a 20,000-acre farm that will feed a 36-million gallon facility.
What’s now called Highlands County BP Biofuels does not have a firm groundbreaking date, Hutchings said last week. “Planning and design is still continuing.”
…The equipment — some built overseas — that will become the ethanol distilling facility may be barged from the Atlantic Coast through South Florida Water Management District’s C-41 canal, the engineer said. When the equipment is five to 10 miles away, it will be trucked to the plant.
Two ethanol projects are planned in Highlands County. United States Envirofuels, a Tampa alternative fuel corporation, was given a $7 million grant in January 2008 to build an ethanol plant south of Lake Placid, near U.S. 27 and S.R. 70.