Developers plan to build a biodiesel plant in the northwest Iowa town of Estherville that’s capable of making fuel from soybean oil, vegetable oil or animal fat. Matt Eller, of Ames, is chairman of Northern Bioenergy and says Estherville is an ideal location for the new 55-million-dollar plant.
Eller says it’s a “great community. It has the resources we need all the way from people to utilities to their water treatment.” Ron Hickman has lived in Estherville for 30 years and is C-E-O of Northern Bioenergy.
Hickman says “We intend to complete the financial details of the project within the next 60 to 90 days. The company intends to break ground in spring of 2007. Northern Bioenergy will eventually employ 25 to 30 full-time people in its facility.” Chris Daniel will be the facility’s general manager. Daniel is one of few people in the U.S. who has experience in building a biodiesel plant from scratch.
Daniel says they hope to take in 30-million gallons of soybean oil when they’re up and running, which he says will be good news for area farmers. Construction may take 15 to 18 months, employing some 200 people. The exact location has yet to be announced.