An ethanol plant that’s been running in northwest Iowa’s Cherokee County for two years is planning a major expansion, adding new jobs and more business for corn growers. Steve Roe, general manager of the Little Sioux Corn Processors plant near Marcus, says the project will nearly double its production. Roe says the plant is now generating about 52-million gallons of ethanol a year and the expansion will take production as high as 100-million gallons. He says the project will require a lot more corn from northwest Iowa farmers. The plant’s using about 18-point-five million bushels of corn each year, so the doubling of the capacity will be near 35 or 40-million bushels. Roe thinks the new federal energy policy, along with the record high gasoline prices, will result in higher demand for the corn-based fuel. He says the recently-passed energy bill “does give everyone a little more courage to invest money in the industry because of the demand that the energy bill dictates.” Roe says the plant’s expansion will be complete in late 2006 or early 2007. The Little Sioux Corn Processors currently employs 34 people. The expansion is expected to add about a dozen new workers.
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