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Iowa State University Extension


e-85 Inc. plants stimulate economic growth in southwest Iowa

sign at location of e-85 plant

What began with one phone call to ISU Extension in spring 2006 has resulted in the construction of two new e-85 Inc. ethanol plants in southwest Iowa. Farmers National Company and Nex-Gen Bio-Fuels Inc. called Steve Adams, ISU Extension community and economic development specialist, for help in locating possible sites for ethanol and biodiesel plants in Iowa. More than 40 potential sites later, two sites were picked in Red Oak and in Mills County close to Council Bluffs. Groundbreaking took place in fall 2007. The plants are scheduled to begin operations in early 2009.

The two e-85 Inc. dry mill corn processing ethanol plants will be built on a total of 400 acres and will be capable of producing 220 million gallons of ethanol annually. The natural gas and electrically powered plants will use approximately 100 million bushels of corn annually and create 300,000 tons of dried distillers grain and solubles to be used as high value livestock feed.

Capital investment in the construction of these two plants is expected to exceed $300 million and create 95 first-year jobs with an estimated annual payroll of $3.8 million.

Partners in this project included the Glenwood/Mills County Economic Development Foundation, Red Oak Industrial Foundation, Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, Mid-American Energy and the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

E85, which consists of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent unleaded gasoline, is an alternative fuel for use in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). Currently an estimated 4 million FFVs are in use in the United States, and this figure is expected to increase steadily.

For more information contact Steve Adams, stadams@iastate.edu.

This article appeared in March 2008 -- From Jack Payne Newsletter