Beebe: Perihelion will meet production deadline

Published 11:28 pm Friday, September 12, 2008

Perihelion Global CEO John H. Beebe said Friday that the power was turned off at the company’s request at its Opp plant, and that he expects production of biodiesel fuel to resume there in the near future.

The Star-News reported Friday that two local companies have liens against Perihelion for non-payment and that the city’s agreement with the company has been turned over to a local legal firm.

Despite Beebe’s claim that the company requested the power to be turned off, city attorney Wes Laird said the city turned the utilities off due to lack of payment.

Minimal activity has been observed at Perihelion’s Opp plant, located just off the U.S. Highway 331 south bypass, since the company announced in early June it was producing biodiesel from animal fat, rather than from peanuts.

But Beebe said Friday that production will resume prior to the February 2009 deadline set forth by the company’s agreement with the city of Opp.

“Perihelion’s biodiesel refinery in Opp can be put into operation at the present and has produced several thousand gallons of biodiesel to date, which are in storage tanks awaiting delivery to Crew Distributing after we receive IRS certification,” Beebe said.

According to Beebe, Perihelion’s ability to sell the biodiesel already produced at the Opp facility and to continue the plant’s future operation depends on the completion of the IRS’s Form 637 for Excise Tax Registration.

According to Beebe, Perihelion’s current status, with equipment in place capable of producing quantities of biodiesel, puts the plant ahead of schedule. He said the company is not contractually obligated to be operational until the end of February 2009.

“The fact that we already have an operational facility on the ground (although not to the scale we would desire) placed us ahead of schedule,” he said.

Beebe acknowledged that Perihelion does currently owe money to local vendors and the company is currently working to resolve those debts.