Owners of a northwest Iowa ethanol plant are getting up to 80-million dollars from the feds to help expand the facility so it can use the whole corn plant to make ethanol. Broin Ethanol CEO Jeff Broin spoke at a statehouse news conference late Wednesday afternoon.
"While an historic day for the state of Iowa and our company, I also believe this is a momentous day for our country," Broin said. The Broin ethanol plant in Emmetsburg is expected to produce 125-million gallons of ethanol each year after the expansion is complete. A quarter of that ethanol will be made from corn fiber, cobs and stalks. Broin plans to have the plant up and running within 30 months — but that timetable wouldn’t have been possible without the federal funds, according to the company’s CEO.
"Without question, the grant will allow our company to commercialize cellulosic technology several years soon than we would have been able to otherwise," Broin said. "It definitely is an accelerator." Senator Jack Kibbie, a Democrat from Emmetsburg, is an investor in the plant. "I want to tell you the Broin Company is one of the better investments I’ve made," Kibbie said, as the 14 legislators gathered around him at the news conference clapped and laughed. "I just as tell you up front."
Kibbie is a farmer in the Emmetsburg area who sells his corn to the Broin ethanol plant, too. "It’s been an exciting two years in Emmetsburg," Kibbie said, joking that the profits from his corn sales are "going to help the State Treasurer." Governor Chet Culver says this grant helps position Iowa to become the renewable fuels capitol of the world. "This is our first step in our goal to literally be the first state in the nation to wean ourself off from our dependence on foreign oil," Culver says.