Glacial Lakes Energy upgrades two South Dakota ethanol facilities

By Chris Hanson | March 28, 2014

Glacial Lakes Energy LLC announced it will be upgrading and expanding corn handling areas at both its Watertown, S.D., and Mina, S.D., facilities to improve the company’s corn procurement strategy and customer service.

The Watertown location will receive a $6.7 million upgrade to its corn receiving area. A new, super-sized receiving pit and 30,000 bushel per hour elevation leg on the north side of the existing receiving building will allow the facility to handle much of the feedstock the plant requires within its daily operation. One of the existing receiving pits will also be expanded and sped up, and two new 120 foot scales will accommodate double trucks delivering corn. With a new receiving area and improved operations, the facility is expected to double the current rated receiving capacity at the plant.

The Mina plant will receive a $5.3 million corn storage expansion, adding 1.5 million bushels of corn storage capacity. Two 750,000 bushel steel bins will complement the existing 1.3 million bushel storage and grain receiving system. “Mina’s current limited storage capacity creates a business interruption risk and, more importantly, can inconvenience producers when the facility fills up mid-week. The additional corn storage will also allow GLE to purchase more corn when market conditions are favorable, and customers want to sell,” said Brad Schultz, director of commodities and risk management at GLE. “We are excited to get both of these projects completed to provide a smooth delivery process for our producers and to carry out our corn procurement strategies.”

“We’ve had a desire to complete both of these projects for a number of years, but we also wanted to see more significant debt reduction and a more solid financial position. Now is the time to get them done,” said Jim Seurer, CEO of GLE. “This is a perfect example of the value that the ethanol industry brings to our state and region. These projects add significant value to our investors’ assets as they improve our competitive position and make our company stronger.”