Aurora West ag-bio complex breaks ground

By | October 02, 2006
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The Aurora Cooperative and Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc. held a groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 7 for a $300 million ag-bio multiplex named Aurora West. The site is one mile west of Aurora, Neb., and adjacent to existing ethanol producer Nebraska Energy LLC, which is majority-owned by Aventine Renewable Energy. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman was the keynote speaker for the event.

The ceremony was held on-site at the Syngenta Seeds warehouse, which was completed this summer. In addition to Syngenta's warehouse and diesel fueling station, the 142-acre multiplex will include a grain handling facility, dry fertilizer complex and a 220 MMgy ethanol plant run by Aventine. Aurora Cooperative and Aventine intented to build this complex in May.

The ethanol plant, called Aventine 220, will be built in two 110 MMgy phases; construction of the first phase will begin in fall 2007. The company aims to complete construction of the plant in spring 2009, by which time most of the other facilities within the complex should also be completed. Delta-T will provide the process technology for the ethanol plant, and Kiewit Energy Co. will act as the general contractor.

According to Aurora Cooperative, there are still open lots for future developments, such as liquid fertilizer, agronomy distribution, biofuel ventures, ethanol feed ventures and a University of Nebraska Biofuels Campus.