Big River Resources to purchase Western Wisconsin Energy

By Matt Soberg | November 15, 2011

Big River Resources LLC entered into an exclusive agreement to purchase 100 percent ownership of the Western Wisconsin Energy LLC 55 MMgy ethanol plant located in Boyceville, Wisc. on Nov. 14. Once final, the acquisition increases Big River Resources’ total ethanol production to 385 MMgy. 

Big River Resources’ other ethanol operations include the West Burlington, Iowa plant producing 105 MMgy, a facility in Galva, Ill. producing 110 MMgy, and a joint venture in the 115 MMgy Dyersville, Iowa facility. The company currently employs 204 full-time workers. 

Business will continue as usual as the agreement calls for Big River Resources to hire the Western Wisconsin Energy’s existing employee team. “Big River Resources views this as an opportunity to continue to provide the Boyceville area with employment opportunities, support the local community and provide price support for corn to the local agricultural community,” stated the company.

Negotiations started when Western Wisconsin Energy announced it elected to sell its ethanol facility last summer. Big River Resources, headquartered in Burlington, Iowa, was interested in the facility due its similar grassroots beginnings as a cooperative supported by local farmers, according to Jim Leiting, Big River Resources general manager. Terms of the purchase are confidential, Leiting stated.

The acquisition will not include immediate updates to the facility, according to Leiting, who commended Western Wisconsin Energy’s operation and maintenance of the facility, which was designed and constructed by ICM Inc. and Fagen Inc. 

 Originally formed in 2003, Western Wisconsin began operations in September 2006 with nameplate capacity up to 55 MMgy achieved in 2009. Big River formed a cooperative and evolved into a joint venture holding company structured for multiple ethanol production facilities. Big River states it will continue to fully evaluate growth opportunities to meet its goals of supporting rural communities and adding value to investor returns.