Three Biodiesel Plants Launch Equity Drives

Groups at Storm Lake, Marcus and Manilla are raising money to build plants to make biodiesel from soybeans.

The public is invited to attend meetings being held in northwest Iowa over the next couple weeks to raise money to build two biodiesel plants. One plant is proposed to be built near Marcus in Cherokee County in northwest Iowa. The other is proposed for Alta, near Storm Lake in Buena Vista County.

Raccoon Valley Bio-diesel of Storm Lake launched its equity drive December 12. This group intends to build a 60 million-gallon per year biodiesel manufacturing facility and also a retail biofuels station near Storm Lake. In addition, a second plant is proposed to be built with capacity to refine 80 million gallons of crude vegetable oil or soy oil for biodiesel and other products.

Raccoon Valley will produce fuel from domestic resources, primarily soybean oil. The firm intends to build facilities on a site near Storm Lake. "We're excited to be offering Iowans the opportunity to buy stock in this renewable energy project," says Dale Arends, president of Raccoon Valley Biodiesel. "We are also proud to be launching the equity drive. In developing the project, our board has spent considerable time and effort identifying technology, partners and location."

Soy Energy also begins equity drive

Soy Energy, LLC announced plans on December 11 to begin its Equity Drive to develop, build and operate a biodiesel production facility near Marcus, Iowa. The first information meeting for investors will be held 2 p.m. on December 18 in Marcus. The meetings will provide local investors with information on being a part of this biofuels project. A total of 33 meetings will be held to sign up investors. For information, call Raccoon Valley Bio-diesel at 712-213-8381.

Soy Energy will produce 30 million gallons per year of biodiesel from soybeans, crude soy oil, corn oil and animal fats. The facility will use pelletized biomass as the primary source of thermal energy and steam. Soy Energy will bring nearly 30 high paying jobs and significant economic development to Cherokee County and Northwest Iowa. This project is the culmination of three years of discussion, research and study.

Only Iowa residents can buy stock

According to Charles Sand, chairman of Soy Energy, the initial cost to construct the plant will be $58 million dollars and it will produce 30 million gallons of biodiesel annually. He says, "This will be a state of the art biodiesel production plant and will have a very positive economic impact for northwest Iowa." Construction will begin in early 2007 with plans to be in production by early 2008.

Soy Energy plans to add a soybean crusher facility in Phase II of the project at a cost of approximately $35 million, bringing the entire project cost to $93 million by 2010. "This is a great investment in value-added agriculture and the biofuels industry, and will create a significant number of new jobs and tax base in Northwest Iowa," says Sand.

Soy Energy's offering is open only to Iowa residents. An offer is made only by the prospectus, which is available by calling Soy Energy's office at 712-376-2081. You can also ask for a schedule of the investor meetings.

Nishna Valley Bioenergy equity drive

Nishna Valley BioEnergy announced December 15 the beginning of an equity drive to fund its planned 60 million gallon per year biodiesel plant. The public is invited to the first investor information meeting in the western Iowa town of Manilla on Dec. 19 at 4:00 p.m. Manilla is site of the proposed plant. A series of investor information meetings will follow on Dec. 20 and 21 in Denison, Carroll, Harlan and Audubon.

"It is our pleasure to begin the equity drive for our proposed biodiesel plant," says Louis Scheuring, president of the Nishna Valley Bioenergy board of directors. "We look forward to realizing the opportunities this project presents to the community of Manilla as well as the renewable energy industry."

Nishna Valley BioEnergy expects the plant will be built by Bratney Companies, based in Des Moines. Bratney has partnered with Cimbria Sket of Germany, a leader in biodiesel development in Europe, to bring its technology to the U.S.

Use German technology for Iowa facility

"The Cimbria Bratney partnership offers a winning combination of biodiesel technology experience along with the skills of a proven, family-owned construction firm," says Scheuring. "This plant is expected to use Cimbria's state-of-the-art continuous deglycerolization biodiesel production technology to produce biodiesel meeting ASTM D 6751 quality standards."

Projected cost for the plant is $89 million with half the funds expected from Iowa residents and the balance secured through bank financing. Nishna Valley intends to partner with FC Stone for risk management, feedstock procurement and product merchandising services. Eco-Energy, an alliance marketer of FC Stone's Renewable Fuels Group, will handle the product merchandising duties.

"We encourage everyone interested in a renewable energy investment to attend one of our information meetings," he says. "We provide detailed information on our offering and our plans to produce biodiesel to help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil." Nishna Valley's slogan is "Biodiesel; the next step to a better future." This offering is open only to residents of Iowa. A copy of the prospectus may be obtained from Nishna Valley Bioenergy, LLC, by calling 712-654-2463.

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