Big River Resources, U.S. Bio partner

By EPM Staff Writer Nicholas Zeman | May 01, 2006
U.S. BioEnergy and Big River Resources LLC entered into a partnership May 12 to build a 40 MMgy ethanol plant near Grinnell, Iowa. The construction of the dry-grind facility is contingent on zoning, permitting and tax incentives. Big River Resources is a current producer with a 40 MMgy plant in West Burlington, Iowa, which is undergoing an expansion to increase its capacity to 52 MMgy.

U.S. BioEnergy has provided plant management and marketing services for Big River Resources' ethanol and distillers grains since the West Burlington plant began operations in April 2004. "This partnership with U.S. BioEnergy will enable us to get this plant up and going quickly, which will benefit everyone involved: the future employees, the community of Grinnell, Big River Resources and U.S. Bio," said Ray Defenbaugh, Big River Resources CEO and president. "We look forward to local involvement with this project and are excited about the economic stimulus that this project will bring to this community."

Lynda Anderson of Big River Resources said the Grinnell plant "is in the initial stages of project development but moving fast." Fagen Inc. and ICM Inc. will provide the process technology and construction services, but no specific groundbreaking date has been set, Anderson said.

The joint venture in Grinnell will provide opportunities for both companies to build competitive advantages in the marketplace. "We are pleased to partner with Big River Resources," said Gordon Ommen, CEO of U.S. BioEnergy. "They have a great reputation in the ethanol industry, and we look forward to expanding our current relationship with them." U.S. BioEnergy recently purchased Platte Valley Fuel Ethanol near Central City, Neb., and currently has three plants under construction in Albert City, S.D., Lake Odessa, Mich., and Ord, Neb. Three additional facilities are in the development stages.

In April, Big River Resources announced plans to build Prairie Ethanol LLC, a proposed ethanol project in Galva, Ill. The 100 MMgy project, renamed Big River Resources Galva, is currently in the permitting phase.