Temple’s city council has approved a conditional use permit that will allow for the construction of a biodiesel manufacturing plant in the city’s industrial district.

At a meeting Thursday night, city officials gave the thumbs-up to the estimated $30 million endeavor to convert food oil from restaurants into fuel. The Temple Economic Development Corporation hopes the project will also fuel the local economy, creating around 30 high-tech positions with salaries around $80,000. Besides providing jobs, the plant could cut down on waste by paying area restaurants for their used grease and generating spending at other area businesses.

The 25,000-square-foot plant will be located on a 7-acre tract on the east side of Eberhardt Road at 3289 and 3111 Eberhardt Drive. The plant is projected to generate 9 million gallons of biodiesel per year. Currently, biodiesel is the only commercial fuel approved for use as an advanced biofuel by the EPA.

The plant is the third energy sector project the EDC has announced since 2012. In April of 2012, Panda Power Funds announced a planned 758 megawat expansion of Panda Temple Power Plant, currently under construction. In October of the same year, Don-Nan Pump and Supply announced plans to expand into Temple with a $25 million warehouse and distribution center.

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