Ohio plant gathering equity

By | January 01, 2004
Northwest Ethanol Development LLC (NWED) announced in mid-December its plans to build a 50-mmgy ethanol plant in Ohio. It would be the first commercial-scale grain processing-to-ethanol facility in the northwest part of the state. An equity drive is currently underway, according to NWED president Lynn Bergman.

"We're about 60 percent of the way home right now," Bergman told EPM. "It could take another couple months."

The $82.1 million project will be built near Hicksville. NWED has already been issued all necessary air, water and environmental permits. Once the equity drive is complete and the company wraps up the bank financing, construction could begin two months later. Lurgi PSI of Memphis, Tenn., and ICM Inc. of Colwich, Kan., will be the design/build team for the plant. Malcolm Pirnie, headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., will do the permitting and land development planning.

Ohio is the sixth largest corn-producing state in the nation and one of the top three ethanol-consuming states, using over 250 mmgy. In addition to ethanol, NWED would supply Ohio with DDGS and CO2, two ethanol coproducts that Ohio currently gets from out of state. The NWED plant would also be the eastern-most source of ethanol in the United States, convenient now that New York and Connecticut have banned MTBE.

Business partners that have committed to NWED include: The Andersons, an Ohio-based grain originator, which will source the grain for the plant and provide risk management services; Ethanol Products, the second largest ethanol marketing firm in North America, will market and sell the ethanol to a series of oil company and blender customers; Land O'Lakes will market and sell the plant's DDGS; Pain Enterprises will take raw CO2; U.S. Energy will supply natural gas; and Northwest Electric Cooperative will provide the plant's electrical service.

The company has raised nearly $2 million to fund its development efforts, and already has approximately 59 investors with strong ties to Ohio. The ongoing equity drive isn't limited to Ohio citizens, however. Interested investors should contact John Grabowski Jr. at JJR Partners of New Hope, Penn., at (215) 862-0500.
~Staff Report