Aberdeen soybean processor OK despite high bean costABERDEEN (AP) — An Aberdeen company that makes a patented diesel fuel additive and livestock feed from soybeans is doing fine despite the high price of beans, according to its manager.
By: JEFF NATALIE-LEES, The Aberdeen American News
ABERDEEN (AP) — An Aberdeen company that makes a patented diesel fuel additive and livestock feed from soybeans is doing fine despite the high price of beans, according to its manager.
It hasn’t affected Natural Gold LLC much, said Ron Sievert, manager and CEO. “Our fuel additive continues to be in demand, and our livestock feed has gone up, but so has corn, distillers grain and other grains,” he said.
Prices of the Natural Gold products have been adjusted upward to reflect the increase in soybean prices, Sievert said.
Natural Gold opened three years ago at 4745 Railroad Ave. S.E. Owned by 16 investors, it is one of only two companies in the nation that make this particular type of soy-based fuel additive, Sievert said.
It increases the lubricating qualities of the fuel, reduces exhaust emissions and makes the fuel more stable by slowing the oxidation process, according to company literature.
Like ethanol, which boosts octane ratings, the additive can increase available horsepower. Typically, a 10 percent additive to 90 percent diesel fuel blend is used, Sievert said.
While Natural Gold Renewable Fuel Additive is the most unique product the plant sells, it also sells soybean oil, soy lecithin and two types of soybean meal for animal feed.
Natural Gold is primarily a regional company, although it does have customers in Canada and as far west as western Montana, Sievert said.
The company has four to five employees.
The skyrocketing price of soybeans has not affected business, he said.
Soybeans are selling for about $16.63 a bushel because of a nationwide drought and an expected lower soybean harvest. In 2011, soybeans sold on average for about $11.40 a bushel, according to the South Dakota Soybean Association.
Natural Gold has the capability of crushing about 1 million bushels of soybeans a year.