Efforts to bring a second ethanol plant to western Iowa’s Guthrie County have sailed through without any opposition. County Planning and Zoning Administrator Barry Stetzel says the zoning commission approved the re-zoning of land near Menlo, from agricultural/rural residential, to heavy industrial, and, the county board of Supervisors followed suit.
The action means Midwest Renewables, L-L-C…the purchasing company for Hawkeye Renewables, of Iowa Falls…has the “green light” to build a 100-million gallon plant just east of town. Stetzel says they will close their options on the land toward the middle of July or first of August. The company hopes to receive the necessary D-N-R permits and begin moving dirt no later than the first of November.
Stetzel says the plant will cost 135-million dollars. They will use approximately 36-million bushels of corn, create an output of 300-thousand tons of distiller’s grain. The main plant will cover 15-to 20-acres, but Stetzel says it‘s more likely 40-to 45-acres will be used out of a total of 171-acres that has been optioned, with the additional acreage used for railroad spurs and roads. The company is expected to supply 45-jobs paying an average of 18-dollars per hour.
Stetzel says the has the cash up-front to build the plant. The county provided the enterprise zone. He says the county is providing a 10-year, 100-percent abatement. The company will pave the road to the plant. There are no other “Financial hang-ups” for the either the county or the company to contend with. Fagen, Incorporated, of Granite Falls, Minnesota, is the contractor for the project. Guthrie County’s other ethanol plant is located in Coon Rapids. The Tall Corn facility produces 40-million gallons per year, and has been in operation for nearly four-years.