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Largest ethanol refinery east of the Mississippi?

Published on 11 April, 2006, Last updated at 01:04 GMT

Dunkirk might land an ethanol plant equal to one being called the biggest in the eastern U.S.

11th April, 2006: DUNKIRK - The potential ethanol refinery that The Andersons Inc. is seeking a permit for would be capable of producing up to 110 million gallons of the fuel a year, a company spokesman said Monday.

"We have filed an application for an air permit, but I can't tell you the size at this point," said Gary Smith, treasurer and vice president of finance for the Maumee, Ohio-based agribusiness. "My sense is, if the resources are strong enough, it would be 110 million gallons."

By resources, Smith said he meant corn, water, utilities and other assets.

Jay County harvested 69,800 bushels of corn in 2004, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service's latest agricultural statistical report.

A refinery capable of producing 110 millions gallons of ethanol a year would require 40 million bushels of corn a year, Smith said.

Dunkirk is a potential site for The Andersons because the corporation has a 7.8-milllion-bushel grain elevator in Dunkirk, which also provides rail service, access to corn, unit-train loading capability, and other assets. A unit train is one made up completely of one commodity, such as coal, corn, or distillers dried grain, shipped from one place of origin to the same destination.

The Andersons is building a $140-million, 110-million-gallon ethanol plant in the Cass County community of Clymers that will create 40 to 50 production jobs and about 250 construction jobs. Besides ethanol, that plant would produce 350,000 tons a year of distillers dried grain, which is used for dairy, beef, swine and poultry feed.

With 110 million gallons of capacity, Clymers Ethanol would be the largest and most modern ethanol refinery east of the Mississippi River, according to The Andersons.

According to the air-permit application submitted by The Andersons to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management on April 4, the proposed Dunkirk Ethanol facility would have the capacity to produce 125 million gallons of ethanol a year.

"Assuming prompt IDEM approval of this air permit application, construction would begin this summer," Stacy Schmidt, director of hazard management and engineering for The Andersons, told IDEM in a letter dated April 3.

The Commercial Review of Portland reported on Friday that ENSR (an AECOM company and a global provider of environmental services), along with Broin Companies, which has designed and built more than 20 ethanol plants, filed an air permit for an ethanol refinery southwest of Portland on Ind. 67. The site is near the Meshberger Brothers Stone Corp.

That project is apparently the same as one known as Premier Ethanol LLC, which is proposing to build a 69-million gallon ethanol refinery near Portland, according to a permit application filed with IDEM.


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