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Compensation agreed for stuttering canola project in US

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Biofuel producer and distributor Whole Energy Fuels (WEF) is to compensate Snohomish County, Washington State for services and goods it didn’t deliver for a canola project.

WEF agreed to design, build and install a canola-crushing system for farmers in the county and signed a $465,000 (€365,600) contract in 2008. A settlement agreement was agreed last month to the tune of $143,000 for failure to deliver goods and services.

‘Technical difficulties hampered our ability to finish what we started,’ says WEF CEO Atul Deshmane. ‘This was the only project of its kind in the country, so I’d like to see it succeed. We were also battling against turmoil in the biofuels market so I wouldn’t call this a failure overall, but the project is not a success.’

The county had lined up $1.2 million in federal, state and county money to fund the canola crusher and a 15 ton-per-hour grain dryer that runs off methane from an old landfill site.

Snohomish County Councilor Dave Somers still sees potential in the project however.

‘Washington State University and other institutions might be interested in the project for alternative fuels research,’ he says.