Coshocton Ethanol restarts as Three Rivers Energy in Ohio

By Susanne Retka Schill | October 10, 2013

The grain trucks are once again delivering corn to the ethanol plant in Coshocton, Ohio, where grinding is scheduled to begin Monday, Oct. 14, bringing the long-idled 50 MMgy plant back online.

Newly renamed Three Rivers Energy LLC, Coshocton Ethanol was brought online by AltraBiofuels in 2008 and ran just 10 months before shutting down. Chicago-based firms Lakeview Energy LLC and Crestwood Energy LLC bought the plant for $27 million in foreclosure proceedings.

“We acquired the assets of the plant last year,” explained Jim Galvin, CEO of Lakeview Energy. “But the foreclosure process wasn’t complete until June of this year.” While many locals thought the plant might never restart, Galvin added the company was pleased with the local response to the announcement of job openings. Many of the 40 employees that began working a few months ago to prepare the plant for restarting had worked there the first time. “That’s been helpful, having their knowledge about issues dealt with before,” he added.

The fact that the Coshocton plant utilizes DeltaT technology was a big factor in Lakeview Energy’s interest in the facility, Galvin said. Lakeview Energy holds a majority interest in another DeltaT design facility, the 50 MMgy Plymouth Energy LLC in Merrill, Iowa. Galvin serves on the board of Plymouth Energy and is president of the board of Three Rivers Energy. Lakeview Energy is the managing partner and will provide ethanol and coproduct marketing services. Tim Kostecki is plant manager at Three Rivers Energy. The Ohio plant is working with Interstate Commodities Inc. for corn origination.

The Coshocton facility is starting up at the beginning of the Ohio corn harvest. “It’s a great crop down here,” Galvin said. Once the plant is running smoothly, the next step will be installing corn oil technology and, with a nearby market for carbon dioxide, they will begin exploring carbon capture technology, he said. “I see this as a biorefinery. Ethanol production is very important, but the other products of distillers grains and syrup are important to us as well.” Future cellulosic ethanol production is on the radar, too, with Plymouth Energy taking the lead on that project.

Galvin added that as a shareholder in the renewable fuels business, the renewable fuels standard (RFS) is important. “I see the RFS as a roadmap, as opposed to a mandate,” he said. “For me as an investor in this industry, it provides me with a roadmap for investing in rural communities like this ethanol facility in Coshocton.”