Planners of Iowa’s newest renewable-energy plant say it’s too early to say if their equity drive will end early. Recent start-ups have quickly gotten all the investors they sought and halted investor meetings with millions committed by local farmers and entrepreneurs. East Fork Bio-Diesel began meeting with potential investors this month just as the state handed the company a 400-thousand dollar loan package.
East Fork President Ken Clark says they’ve purchased an option on land east of Algona, half a mile south of Highway 18. Clark says most of the organizers were from the Algona area, but they’d also looked at where most of the existing plants are located already and chose this site because it’s in a different part of the state. He says they settled on a 60-Million-gallon-a-year plant because producing more makes each gallon more cost-efficient.
Clark says it would be the largest bio-diesel plant in the state. It’s a 69-million-dollar project and organizers expect to get about half of that from investors in the equity drive. Clark says the East Fork Biodiesel plant is expected to open with 36 jobs in the fall of 2007. He says the payroll should be about one-point-three-Million dollars, an amount he says will be good to pump into a local economy. “I do want to make one thing very clear: this is for Iowa investors only,” Clark says.
They hope to begin construction in August and hope to be in production by October of next year. Last (Wednesday) night he met with interested entrepreneurs in Northwood and Forest City. Equity meetings today (Thursday) are in Fort Dodge and Clarion. On Friday they host potential investors in Ames at the Gateway Center.