Former oil executive buys ethanol terminal

By Jessica Sobolik | August 27, 2007
Houston-based LogiBio, owned by former ExxonMobil executive Amit Bhandari, has purchased an Albany, N.Y., ethanol terminal from Cibro Petroleum Products.

The facility, now called LogiBio Albany Terminal LLC, currently has over 500,000 barrels of ethanol capacity and can unload 80 railcars at one time. Bhandari told EPM his company can increase unit train capacity to 102 railcars and can add more storage tanks in the future. According to Bhandari, the facility is the second-largest ethanol terminal in the United States, shipping product to New York Harbor, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts and even the West Coast from the Port of Albany on the Hudson River.

"We do business with [Archer Daniels Midland Co., Renewable Products Marketing Group,] VeraSun, Aventine and Cargill," Bhandari said. "What we have now is plenty to handle demand. We're hoping to get more and maybe even go global. We would like to talk to anyone else who is interested who wants to ship or be a shareholder."

The terminal is also serviced by CSX Railroad from Chicago. Bhandari said LogiBio Albany can receive a unit train from Chicago consisting of 80 railcars, unload it and return it in 14 hours. "That's a fast turnaround, which is nice for people," he said. "We do take singles, which will take more time."

Not only can the terminal do business via barge and rail, the facility also has a 10-truck loading rack. The company plans on selling most of its ethanol to the local market. "My personal opinion is there are a lot of plants being constructed but not enough focus on logistics," he said. "Because I understand the supply and demand of ethanol, I felt that was our niche."

Bhandari bought ethanol for ExxonMobil while he was employed there. When the ethanol market heated up in the spring of 2006, he decided to start his own business. He said LogiBio is hoping to own more biofuel terminals; in fact, it is currently working on a memorandum of understanding to buy a second terminal. Further details were not available at press time.