Plans are being finalized to produce corn oil at a new business in northwest Iowa. Dave Hoffman of Merrill is a founding member of Plymouth Oil which is developing the 25 to 30 million dollar corn oil project. Hoffman says the plant will be adjacent to the Plymouth Energy ethanol plant under construction just north of Merrill.

Hoffman says, "We always hear about the food for fuel and now Plymouth Energy and this support business will be food and fuel. We’re actually enhancing the value of corn by producing food grade corn oil. So the corn is fractionated before it goes through the ethanol process and that’s when we’re able to capture the food grade corn oil." Hoffman expects the new business to provide jobs for up to 25 workers.

"We expect to utilize about 300 tons of byproducts per day–some of them being purchased from Plymouth Energy and some of them being purchased form other corn fractionators," Hoffman says."We’ll produce, at full capacity, about 60 tons of corn oil per day for the human food market." Hoffman says the demand for corn oil is increasing because of the health trend toward non-trans fats which makes the product popular with restaurants.

In addition to food-grade corn oil, the plant will produce defatted corn germ for livestock feed. Production could begin in the first quarter of next year.