Fagen, ICM complete Badger State Ethanol, LLC

By | September 01, 2002
MONROE, Wis. - Over 2000 people gathered here to attend the grand opening of Badger State Ethanol, LLC, Sept. 14-15.

The ceremony, which was attended by area residents, plant employees, investors, builders and state representatives including Wisconsin Gov. Scott McCallum, marked the culmination of nearly two years of planning and construction. The event provided those in attendance with an opportunity to view the plant before it is brought online in early October, according to plant manager Richard Hanson.

The project was spearheaded by Badger State Ethanol President Dr. Gary Kramer, of Lena, Wis., and Vice President John Malchine, of Watertown, Wis. The $44 million dollar plant will employ 32 people and produce 40 mmgy and 130,000 tons of both wet and dry distillers grains.

"We are so pleased to be in Monroe," Kramer said. "This event is a small token of our appreciation for the support we have received here. A project like this takes a tremendous amount of cooperation and Monroe has been fantastic to work with."

The plant was built by Fagen Inc. of Granite Falls, Minn., utilizing a process technology provided by ICM Inc. of Colwich, Kan. Fagen and ICM have been known to get plants running at full capacity between seven and 14 days after the initial launch.

Prime location for plant
Malchine said the reason Monroe was chosen for the location of the plant was because it fit the requirements that both he and Kramer set forth. Those requirements included suitable rail access for transportation, gas and electric, and a "welcoming community," according to Malchine.

"After viewing the Monroe site and talking to city officials, we were convinced that Monroe could meet our requirements," Malchine said. "Early on, the Green County Development Corporation organized a meeting with key city staff and officials to discuss utility, infrastructure and permitting issues. It was very helpful to get any concerns on the table early, and to build a relationship with those officials who could help us move the project forward."

Second Wisconsin plant
Badger State is the second ethanol plant to open up in Wisconsin. The first plant, located in Stanley, opened its doors in July (see plant profile on page 10).

In order to build the plant, the city set up a $2.8 million tax increment financing district. The district reportedly is set up to be paid back at $280,000 per year over the course of 10 years.

City officials thrilled'
Monroe Mayor Bill Ross said that he was thrilled with the plant's presence in Monroe, and also said that it was not only to Monroe's benefit, but also to the surrounding communities.

Attending the ribbon cutting ceremony with McCallum was Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection Jim Harsdorf.

"We are building a future for Monroe and the state of Wisconsin," McCallum told the crowd. "Everything we are doing is designed to provide opportunity. I don't like us spending wild money. I want us to (grow) within our means. But when it comes to the development of jobs, I look at this as an investment."