The largest biodiesel plant in Iowa is being planned for the Wall Lake area of Sac County. Jim Venner is project manager for Western Iowa Energy, which recently got regulatory approval to go ahead with the 40-million dollar plant. Venner says the new plant will process more biodiesel than Iowa’s three current plants combined — along with a unique difference. It’ll produce 30-million gallons of biodiesel a year using primarily soybean oil and other vegetable oils and animal fats. Venner says the plant will be the only one in the Midwest producing biodiesel using animal fat. Officials are expected to unveil the project’s full plans on Monday — along with the search for investors. Any Iowa resident or entity based in Iowa is eligible to invest in the plant with shares selling for one-thousand dollars each and a minimum investment of 20 shares. Venner says the goal is to raise half of the estimated cost of the plant before construction begins, which should be soon.Construction will take nine months. If all goes as planned, ground can be broken in April with production beginning by Christmas. Iowa now has three biodiesel plants, including a 12-million gallon facility at Ralston, a five-million gallon plant at Sergeant Bluff and a three-million gallon facility in Milford.
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