Future producers diligently plan industry expansion

Several groups nearing construction phases, others just beginning to organize
By | October 01, 2002
Golden Grain Energy: This group has selected Fagen, Inc. as the contractor for 40-mmgy plant to be located near Mason City, Iowa. The plant is expected to be in production by April 2004. They are now beginning work on rezoning the site and will be assembling a team to finalize all of the applications for the various incentive programs. They hope to start site grading in November.

Cornhusker Energy: Seeking permitting for a 40 mmgy plant near Lexington, Neb. The group signed a contract with Vogelbusch U.S.A., Inc. to provide process design for a 40 mmgy plant.

Dakota Renewable Fuels, LLC: This N.D. group has signed Lurgi PSI, but they have yet to choose a site for this 30-mmgy plant. The group held investor interest meetings in Jamestown, Valley City, Wahpeton, Oakes, Lakota and Fargo, N.D. They will be holding more meetings around N.D. this winter. Thus far, the group has received $167,500 from the USDA Value-Added Grants to complete a business plan, complete offering documents, conduct equity drive and complete other activities. They also received $75,000 from the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council for start-up costs associated with getting a third ethanol plant operating in North Dakota.

East Central Ag Products (ECAP): This group closed it's membership drive in early August for a plant to be built in Audrain County, Mo. ECAP has chosen Shiel Sexton to provide engineering services and Katzen International for process design. Billing Mechanical will provide piping service and Gaylor (not associated with the ethanol design-build firm) will provide electrical work. They still need to raise $9.5 million in equity from outside investors. If that happens, they hope to break ground in the spring of 2003 on a 30-mmgy plant in Laddonia, Mo. They will use corn and Milo as feedstocks.

Prime Technologies: This group had expected to break ground in Pierre, S.D. after securing permitting, but the cooperative suspended operations last month. They still own the technology and still hold permits. They are going to "regroup and try again" in the spring. USDA is not releasing a $3 million Value-Added Grant because PRIME can't get a loan guarantee. CoBank is asking that the government guarantee up to $10 million in losses. USDA will not guarantee the loan. As a result, Co-Bank will not sign off on the loan and the USDA will not release a $3 million grant until the loan is covered. If funding is not secured by Oct. 16, state law requires the sponsors to start over, according to Pat Tracy, general manager of PRIME Technologies.

Mid-Missouri Energy: This project is in the early stages of development in west-central Missouri. They were examining sites and legal structures in October. However, they have hired Fagen, Inc./ ICM as the design-build team. Hope to have site selection narrowed within the month. Farmers would like to begin equity drive this winter. Christiansen & Associates has been hired for business plan development

Oregon Trail Ethanol: This group is looking for a site. They have signed agreements with Lurgi PSI, using an ICM process design for construction of a 40 mmgy production facility. Construction is projected to begin in the first quarter of 2003 and to take 12 months to complete. A feasibility study will look at a nine county area including: Nuckolls, Thayer, Jefferson, Clay, Fillmore and Saline in Nebraska, and Jewell, Republic and Washington in Kansas for possible sites. the group received $75,000 in funding through the Nebraska Agriculture Opportunities and Value-Added Partnership Act for the development of a feasibility study and a capitalization plan for a producer-owned ethanol plant

Crossroads Cooperative: At last report, this group was looking at a site near Gering, Neb.

United Wisconsin Grain Producers: This group of grain farmers from Beaver Dam, Wis. is looking at a site in Columbia County. A joint Plan Commission and Village Board voted recently to visit the Monroe, Wis. ethanol plant (Badger State Ethanol, LLC) on a fact-finding mission by Nov. 15, before deciding whether to grant a conditional use permit for a similar plant.

Nordic Biofuels: This group is currently in talks with the community of Ravenna, Neb. They would like to build a 100 mmgy ethanol plant by 2004. The city of Ravenna has successfully annexed land parcels to be used to build the plant. Nordic Biofuels also recently announced plans to build an 84 mmgy to be located in Longview, Wash.

Western Plains Energy, LLC: Now in the process of selling shares and raising capital for a 30 mmgy plant in western Kansas near the town of Campus. ICM will design the plant. At last report, this group was approaching the halfway point in their equity drive and had extended the equity offering period to December 31, 2002 for a 30 mmgy plant to be built near Oakley, Kan.

Mississippi Ethanol, LLC: This project is starting to organize investors for a project that proposes to use sawdust as a feedstock for ethanol.

Garden State Ethanol: Gov. McGreevey of New Jersey announced last month that the state will help build a 40 mmgy ethanol plant for this group to be located at an undetermined site in southern New Jersey. n