Biodiesel Production Facility Groundbreaking Ceremony Sept. 8 in Dolores County

The San Juan Biodiesel will break ground on its oil crush and biodiesel production facility during a ceremony at 3 p.m. on Sept. 8 at the Weber Industrial Park in Dove Creek, Colo.

San Juan Biodiesel LLC is a new company constructing a five million gallon per-year oil crush and biodiesel production facility. In 2007, the company contracted with 41 farmers for approximately 11,000 acres of sunflower crops stretching from Alamosa to Price, Utah, with the bulk of the production centered in proximity of  the facility in Dolores and Montezuma counties, and San Juan County in Utah. For more information, go to

Colorado State University has assisted the development of the facility since October 2004. The Colorado State University Agricultural Experiment Station’s Southwestern Colorado Research Center, located in Yellow Jacket, retooled its research planting program in 2005 to include sunflower-variety testing for yield and oil-seed quality.

"Extension had two missions in the development of this project," said Colorado State University’s Dolores County Extension Director Dan Fernandez.  "The first was to insure that we had our grower base in place and second that the business park was ready to handle a major processing facility."

In 2006, 2,660 acres of sunflowers were harvested with 20 growers participating.  In 2007, there were 10,600 acres planted with 41 growers participating.

With the assistance of Fernandez, a series of public meetings and workshops were held for government agencies, funders, Legislators, interested growers and the general public to explain the project and keep the momentum moving forward.  In early 2006, and after competing with several other cities, the Weber Business Park in Dolores County was chosen as the site of the new biodiesel plant.

Fernandez also serves on the board of directors of the Dolores County Development Corporation (DCDC) which owns the Weber Business Park, and on the board of directors of San Juan Biodiesel LLC.

San Juan Biodiesel has surpassed its 90 percent mark in raising the finances to construct the facility and purchase this year’s crop, and is ready to begin construction this fall, said general manager Jeff Berman.

"This would not have been possible without the assistance of so many farmers, investors, lenders, local governments, ski resorts, and others that have participated in the process," Berman said.

For more information contact Dan Fernandez, (970) 677-2283, or


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