Iowa dignitaries will be on hand for the grand opening today (Friday) of a new ethanol plant, the 11th for the state of Iowa. Hanlontown Mayor Rick Scholbrock says they broke ground in April 2003 with a timetable of one year for completion. He says it’s been a short year watching all the construction, while it seemed like a long year for everyone waiting for the plant to go online. Mayor Scholbrock says he promised residents in north-central Iowa they’d make money from the $60-million plant, and it’s already happening. He says by luring in a major manufacturer there was construction work, business for local restaurants, gas stations and motels making money for local people, and now the plant’s beginning production it’ll be time for the farmers to make money. The plant’s located northwest of Hanlontown on a 230-acre site. General Manager Tim Voegele says the plant’s good news for local farmers. He says the plant has a capacity of 45-Million gallons of ethanol a year, and he hopes to make more than that, using all the productivity and efficiencies possible. Voegele says the plant means about 40 new jobs in the region, and a market for locally-grown crops. To make those 45-Million gallons, it’ll take 16-Million bushels of corn a year, and Voegele says he hopes to buy it all locally, adding that’s already having a positive effect on prices.
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