Midwest Renewables breaks ground in Iowa

By | January 01, 2004
In December 2003, Midwest Renewables broke ground on its $64.5 million, 40-mmgy ethanol plant in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

Fagen Inc. and ICM are the design/build firm for the facility, which is due to start operation in December 2004. The plant would take in approximately 14 million bushels of corn and produce 127,000 tons of DDGS, as well as create about 35 jobs.

According to Russ Stidolph of Whitney & Co., the private equity firm for Midwest Renewables, construction is proceeding ahead of schedule. In early January, crews were pouring the foundation for fermentation tanks.

A general manager has been hired, although the company won't release a name, and the selection process for the plant manager and other key personnel will start soon. The company has already received $400,000 in loans from a pool of state dollars set aside for value-added agriculture ventures.

Midwest Renewables will receive some competition from Pine Lake Corn Processors near Cleves, an ethanol plant project just 15 miles from the Midwest Renewables site. Pine Lake's 20-mmgy facility will cost an estimated $34.3 million. Delta-T, Noble Americus and Monsanto Enviro Chem are partners on the project.

"We believe that there is sufficient production of corn in the Iowa Falls area and sufficient demand for ethanol worldwide that our plant, the Pine Lake plant and numerous other ethanol plants in the Midwest will be successful," Stidolph told EPM.

Both facilities plan an expansion if all goes well.

Midwest Renewables was created in 2001 to make investments in renewable energy companies, primarily in the Midwest, Stidolph said. The company is capitalized by a number of financial institutions and individuals with plans to build a $200 million wind farm in Iowa this year as well.

~Staff Report