Another 40 mmgy South Dakota ehtanol plant breaks ground

Broin Companies will design, build and manage $52 million Great Plains Ethanol, LLC
By | April 01, 2002
Groundwork is underway on a new farmer-led ethanol project near Chancellor, S.D., where Great Plains Ethanol, LLC signed Broin & Associates to design, build and manage a 40 mmgy facility about 20 miles southwest of Sioux Falls along U.S. Highway 44. Broin Companies has invested in the plant, along with 505 South Dakota farmers.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held April 13, with South Dakota Gov. Bill Janklow, Rep. John Thune (R-S.D.), Rep. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), SDGA Executive Director Lisa Richardson, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council President Gary Duffy and American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Executive Director Trevor Guthmiller among those in attendance.

Jeff Broin, CEO of Broin Companies, told Ethanol Producer Magazine the new facility will be among "the most energy efficient and technologically advanced corn dry mill ethanol plants" in the industry. Broin Companies, now involved with nearly every aspenct of the ethanol industry, has designed and constructed 11 U.S. ethanol facilites. The plants managed by Broin collectively produce more than 200 million gallons of ethanol per year. In South Dakota alone, Broin manages two existing ethanol plants and is building two others (including Great Plains Ethanol LLC). The company is also working with a group of farmers near Groton, S.D. on another 40 mmgy project that may soon break ground.

The organization
With the assistance of Chester S.D.-based Val-Add Service Corp., Great Plains Ethanol LLC (a Parker, S.D.-based group initially called Dakota Corn Processors Cooperative) began working with state and local economic development groups and the South Dakota Corn Growers Association in the last months of 2000. Through a successful fund raising effort (that was matched 3 to 1 by the South Dakota Corn Council) the group raised over $50,000 during the spring of 2000, for feasibility studies and site evaluations, according to Brian Minish, CEO/CFO of Great Plains Ethanol LLC and a partner in Val-Add Service Corp. with Steve Sershen.

"Within two months, we had decided upon Broin Companies (to design, build and manage the facility, as well as market the plant's ethanol and distillers grain), and we had established the site near Chancellor," Minish told Ethanol Producer Magazine.

$52 million plant
After establishing itself as a limited liability corporation (LLC) in the fall of 2000, Minish said, the group kicked off three-week equity drive that netted $18.7 million - 40 percent of the $52 million needed for construction. Minish said the Great Plains Ethanol plant will be completed in 14 to 16 months, and will closely resemble other Broin-built ethanol plants in South Dakota, such as Dakota Ethanol, LLC in Wentworth. Notably, a thermal oxidizer will be installed at Great Plains Ethanol, Minish added.

"The tension in the Middle East and Iraq's oil embargo have really focused attention on the need to increase our domestic sources of energy," said Bob Dinneen, RFA president. "By building an ethanol plant, the farmer-owners of Great Plains Ethanol will not only reap the benefits of value-added processing, but they help fight our war on energy dependence. I congratulate them on their commitment to improving farm incomes and enhancing U.S. energy security."