Elite Octane expected to begin commissioning next year

By Erin Voegele | October 12, 2017

Construction on a new corn ethanol plant in Cass County, Iowa, is progressing on schedule. The 120 MMgy Elite Octane facility is currently expected to begin commissioning during the second quarter of 2018. The company broke ground on the facility in March 2017. 

Nick Bowdish, president and CEO of N Bowdish Company LLC, will serve as CEO of Elite Octane following the project’s development. Fagen Inc. is serving as the design-builder for the facility. “Fagen Inc. is definitely the leader in design-build construction,” Bowdish said. “Their team is doing a phenomenal job.

According to Bowdish, construction on the plant is progressing well. “Fermenters are erected and the steel is up that encompasses the process building,” he said. “The distillation columns are set, as well as six of the eight evaporators. The energy center is taking shape and the boilers and dryers will arrive very soon. The storage tanks in the tank farm are underway. The basement of the grains area is complete and the footing and foundations for the world’s largest corn storage bins are currently being formed and poured,” Bowdish added.

He noted that Elite Octane will have two corn storage bins that are 156 feet in diameter, each with the capacity to hold 2 million bushels of corn. “Sukup Manufacturing is providing the bins and Buresh Building Systems is constructing the grains complex,” Bowdish said. He also noted the facility is incorporating a slurry tank heating solution from Hydro-Thermal and corn oil extraction technology from Valicor. According to Bowdish, the plant will also utilize the water discharge from the city of Atlantic, Iowa, to supply water for nearly all of its cooling needs. That discharge water is currently dumped in the river. 

“I’d like to commend all our contractors and vendors on this project for a great start with thousands of man-hours invested and no lost time accidents incurred,” Bowdish said. “A successful project begins with a safe project and safety doesn’t happen by accident.”

He also noted Elite Octane is thankful to be supported by the great community of Atlantic. “We appreciate the patience of our neighbors who have been directly impacted by road closures and construction activity as the natural gas line, railroad tracks, and road paving efforts progress for the future benefit of our company,” Bowdish added.

Staffing efforts at the plant are also well underway. Bowdish said Elite Octane is currently accepting applications and has all available positions posted online on the company’s website, www.eliteoctane.net. “The screening and interviewing process will kick into high gear in 2018, with many of the positions beginning employment in March 2018,” Bowdish said.