A company based in Gaylord, Minnesota has announced plans to build a biogas plant in northwest Iowa. Midwest Biogas President Nick Nelson says they chose Albert City for the plant’s location based on the byproducts needed to make the fuel. “Just the amount of biomass that’s in the area…all of northwest Iowa is an excellent location for plants like this,” Nelson said.

A ground breaking for the proposed Buena Vista Bio Energy plant is planned in the spring. The plant could be complete by 2012 and employ up to 40 workers. Nelson says the jobs will include technicians, material handlers, maintenance work and plant managers. The plant would take byproducts from a nearby ethanol plant and an egg producer. Nelson says it’s not clear yet how much electricity the plant will produce.

“It’s still a little bit up in the air, but we have done our material testing,” Nelson said. “It’s looking somewhere in the range of three-and-a-three-quarter billion cubic feet of gas every year and we’re looking at producing about 42 megawatts an hour of electricity.”

The plant would sell natural gas back to the ethanol plant and also create fertilizer. Nelson says up to 30 people could be hired in early 2011 when the first phase of the plant is done. The proposed plant’s permits are being examined by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Contributed by Ryan Long, KICD, Spencer