|By ANN ALLEN
LINDEN, Ind. — Saying, “This is a great day for Montgomery County and for the state of Indiana,” Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman joined ASAlliances Biofuels, LLC, in breaking ground Jan. 19 for a $100 million ethanol plant near Linden (pop. 700).
“This plant represents another step on the journey we are taking to turn Indiana into the global leader in the production and development of biofuels,” she said. “It illustrates our commitment to Indiana farmers, consumers and the environment.”
Skillman, who also serves as secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, lauded the plant for adding jobs to the state, stimulating the purchase of raw materials from Hoosier farmers and creating a renewable fuel source less harmful to the environment. Construction of the new plant, located next to the Cargill AgHorizons grain elevator off Montgomery County Road 100 North, is expected to take 18 months.
Officials plan to be in operation by mid- to late 2007.
David Black, president of ASAlliances Biofuels, a Dallas-based development company comprised of Fagen Inc., Cargill, United Bio Energy and ASA Alliances, said the Linden site ranked near the top for an ideal ethanol plant location when factoring corn supply and price, rail access, workforce, utility infrastructure and availability.
The plant will create 58 new jobs with an average wage of $45,000, excluding benefits, well above the county’s $24,908 per capita income reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2003.
With a planned capacity of 100 million gallons of ethanol and 315,000 tons of distillers dried grains for feed, the plant expects to process 40 million bushels of corn each year, primarily sourced from Montgomery and surrounding counties.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), in partnership with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Montgomery County officials and the town of Linden, worked together to provide an incentive package that helped secure the plant.
Economic development incentives offered by the state of Indiana through IEDC included training grants, assistance with off-site infrastructure improvements needed to serve the site, up to $800,000 during 10 years in Economic Development for a Growing Economy tax credits and potential tax credits for certain company investments through the Hoosier Business Investment tax credit program.
Published in the January 25, 2006 issue of Farm World.