WICHITA — Healy Biodiesel, a 5-year-old Sedgwick company, is a few weeks away from moving into new space that will allow it to triple its production.
“We make biodiesel from oils – used cooking oil primarily,” president Ben Healy says. “We are producing probably … about a quarter-million gallons a year currently.”
The biodiesel can be used in cars and trucks.
With a new plant in a Sedgwick industrial park at 250 Industrial Drive, Healy says he expects to be able to produce a million gallons of biodiesel a year.
So what’s that mean for the company?
“A lot more headaches,” he says, perhaps only half joking.
“We’re going to need to add employees,” Healy says.
He’ll also need to add more used cooking oil clients, “which is the backbone of our business.”
Healy particularly will look to Wichita restaurants for help with that.
The expansion also “means we’re going to distribute more fuel to the local market.”
“That would be a goal of ours.”
For now, all of Healy Biodiesel’s product is sold out of Sedgwick.
Healy says he’ll have one half of a new 12,000-square-foot building while partner and fabricator W.B. Services takes the other.
“We fabricate custom-made oil collection tanks for restaurants,” Healy says.
He says the product allows restaurants to directly pump their oil into the tanks “so that they don’t ever have to dump grease again.”
Healy says there also are anti-theft valves and locks on the tanks.
“Our systems have never been stolen from,” he says. “That’s a pretty exciting thing.”