SALEM, Ohio – Biofuels plant organizers haven’t abandoned their quest to bring ethanol production to the region.
An update on several proposed facilities’ progress:
Near Meadville, Pa., a group is working on grant applications to pay for a feasibility study for their proposed plant. Until they’ve got the study, nothing can happen, according to Sherman Allen, a major player in the project.
The Meadville plant is a project of the Farm Bureau and several community development groups, plus businesses and farmer volunteers.
The group hopes their proposed plant would be in Meadville, but would settle for anywhere in northwestern Pennsylvania, Allen said.
They’ve been conducting informational meetings monthly for almost a year.
Harrison Ethanol LLC
The Ohio Department of Agriculture issued a final permit to install and permit to operate Harrison Ethanol in early December 2004.
The plant will be located at 275 Dickerson Church Road near Cadiz, and owned and operated by Wendel Dreve and Marion Gilliland.
This $68 million project is expected to create 107 jobs in the first three years of operation.
The department of agriculture issued the permits because the proposed operation also includes a 2,000-cow dairy facility and a 10,000-head beef facility, which qualifies the farm as a Major Confined Animal Feeding Facility, or MCAFF. Feeding facilities of that size are monitored by the department.
Harrison Ethanol received a $600,000 Pioneer Rural Loan from Ohio’s Development Financing Advisory Council, and the Ohio Tax Credit Authority awarded tax credits to the facility in late January.
The loan carries an interest rate of 2 percent for a 10-year term to construct and operate an ethanol facility. The 50 percent tax credit runs for seven years and will help start-up and operation.
The state also committed a $400,000 roadwork development grant to the project.
Harrison Ethanol plans to construct a 1.8-million square-foot biorefinery that will utilize components of corn to produce ethanol.
The company also plans to sell the byproducts of the ethanol process, which includes carbon dioxide and biodiesel fuel components (corn oil and ethanol) that will be captured, liquefied or solidified.
Methane gas produced at the site’s anaerobic digester is a byproduct of the animal husbandry division, and will be captured and used to produce renewable electrical energy and heat.
Dreve and Gilliland also have plans to build ethanol production facilities in Perry and Pike counties.
Baard Renewables, based in Nebraska, chose a site near Coshocton, Ohio, for an ethanol plant. The developer cited low costs of water, sewer and electricity as reasons for choosing the area, according to a press release issued early in 2004.
The proposed plant has a capacity of 50 million gallons and would use 18.8 million bushels of corn each year.
Baard spokesperson Trevor Lambert said plans are still moving forward. The company submitted air permits to the state in November and continues to work with state and local leaders to make the plant a reality, he said.
Greater Ohio Ethanol
Greater Ohio Ethanol co-founder Greg Kruger says ground should be broken by April or May for a 56 million-gallon facility within Lima city limits.
The facility is located between a major railroad line and Interstate 75, giving plenty of transportation options. The site also has cross-country gas and electric lines.
Investors hail from 13 states.
The plant has received $80 million in tax-free bonds to be issued after construction, as well as direct loans, tax abatements and $15 milion in tax credits and infrastructure assistance.
The location is within 60 miles of 136 grain elevators and 300 million bushels of corn produced yearly, Kruger said.
Organizers are working with seed companies to promote high-fermentable hybrids, which produce more ethanol per gallon. Organizers are working to get farmers to contract their corn to them at a premium.
Greater Ohio Ethanol also has plans to build a plant near Old Fort in Seneca County.
North West Ethanol
The North West Ethanol project, planned for Hicksville in northwestern Ohio, has slowed.
Organizer Lynn Bergman said the committee is still working on putting together plant financing.
Project finalization has been moved to mid-2005, pushed back from late 2004, according to Ohio State ag economist Tom Sporleder. Sporleder is involved in the group through Heartland AgDeavor, a group that helps farmers turn their ideas into business reality.
The proposed plant has a capacity of 40 million gallons.