A proposed 150-million gallon per year ethanol plant in Atlantic is still millions of dollars away from becoming a reality. Mark Wedemyer, with the Cass County Board of Supervisors said today Wednesday, that a meeting was held Monday night in Oakland for potential investors in the Ohio-based Farmers Energy Cardinal plant. Wedemeyer said the needs to raise about $15-million more dollars before construction can begin. He said there is a meeting next Monday night at the Atlantic Airport to try and generate more investor interest.
In January, the Iowa Economic Development Authority approved tax benefits in the form of $4.25-million in sales tax refunds for the project that promises to create 49 jobs.
Wedemyer said they’re making pretty good progress on plans for the plant, but there are some sticking points as far as the railroad is concerned, with regard to the rate the company will pay for transportation of Dried Distillers Grain (DDG) and Ethanol the plant will produce. Snyder and Associates Engineer Tim Teig told the Board of Supervisor’s negotiations are underway to resolve the transportation issue.
Wedemeyer said Atlantic is in a good position geographically, to make transportation of those products to both coasts. The proposed ethanol plant will be designed and built by Minnesota-based Fagen, Incorporated. Once constructed, it will be one of the State’s largest. Snyder’s Tim Teig said even with their investment goal still out of reach, officials are anxious to get some work done, because they are confident the plant will become a reality.
He says there’s some early activity with regard to getting side tracks for storage of numerous railcars Fagan purchased. The land has been purchased the needed land and have a contractor lined-up to start grading. The project will require additional crossings of the railroad tracks, north of the existing crossing.
The plans have been submitted to the County Engineer and Snyder and Associates for review, to make sure there are no conflicts with the road design for future paving of the road by the County. To that end, the Board approved giving the firm authorization to assist in the coordination, planning and review of various improvements necessary for the plant, that may impact the Glacier and Echo Road paving projects.