The Earth Biofuels plant in Durant has been the center of attention for almost a year now. It was set to open back in the spring of 2006, but one delay after another pushed the grand opening date back. Finally, in April of 2006, the plant had their big celebration and was set to begin producing bio-diesel fuel. The original plan was to produce 10-millon gallons each year using soybean oil as their main ingredient. However, that has not been the case.
The president of Earth Biofuels, Tommy Foltz, said “so far we've produced bout 75,000 gallons of fuel which is far less than we'd like to have produced at this point."
The city of Durant gave several incentives for the company to come here. However, without the large production of oil, some community members are becoming concerned. Foltz said he wants everyone to know they are just making sure everything is up to speed.
"We're very concerned with the quality of bio-diesel nationwide. So all the improvements we've been making all the improvements to make sure it's the highest quality product. We can make, “said Foltz.
Recent controversy over the company paying their bills has also been an issue.
“We do have accounts payable...we’re working with our venders to ratify that situation as well."
Right now the company has 24 employees. The city had hoped the company would bring in at least 100 new jobs. Foltz says that is still the plan.
“We'll be training people in this facility...we are doing internships with the college...we're doing a lot of things that will bring further employment to Durant."
Foltz says the community put a lot of money into the plant and that Earth Biofuels is committed to Durant. He says the company will do everything it can to keep the city happy.