Iroquois Bio-Energy Running Smooth Since Start-Up
Ethanol Producer Magazine
01 March 2007
by Bryan Sims
Not even inclement weather conditions could deter Iroquois Bio-Energy’s start-up of its newest corn-based ethanol plant in Rensselaer, Ind., in mid-January. “We started up in some pretty severe winter conditions, but the plant has come up and is performing well,” Iroquois Bio-Energy General Manager Keith Gibson said.
The 40 MMgy plant is the state’s second dry grind ethanol plant and third overall to begin operation. Employing 33 people and processing 35,000 bushels of corn per day, the plant will operate on a five-day corn unloading schedule with approximately 50 truckloads of corn per day.
Despite starting up at 40 MMgy, the project is designed to allow for expansion projects, which will double its production capacity to
80 MMgy by 2008. “We hope to expand this plant in the near future,” Gibson said.
According to Gibson, the plant went through one public and two private equity offerings. The plant’s financing was provided by CoBank and also included a substantial amount of U.S. DOE grants.
Iroquois Bio-Energy is using local corn as feedstock. Its distillers grains marketer is Commodity Specialists Co. and ethanol marketer is Noble Americas Corp. Gibson noted no carbon dioxide marketer is currently determined. Fagen Inc. designed and built the plant while ICM Inc. provided process technology.
Gibson attributes much of the plant’s success and meeting the start-up date to his colleagues and coworkers. The groundbreaking ceremony took place in September 2005. “I’m very pleased with the efforts of our operators and our maintenance people who’ve made
it a success, and how well they paid attention to the training that was available and the effort they put forth to ensure we would run,” Gibson said.
Indiana, which currently has five corn-based ethanol plants under construction, has embraced Iroquois Bio-Energy into the state’s expanding ethanol market. “The state is very interested in what we’re doing,” Gibson said. “I think about half the state is lined up to
take tours of the plant.”