July 3, 2008

Ethanol Plant Gets OK

CANTON - The new owners of an unfinished ethanol plant outside Canton have been given a conditional-use permit to produce the corn- based fuel additive.

Riverland Biofuels requested the permit at a recent Fulton County Zoning Board of Appeals hearing.

The company bought the plant recently after Central Illinois Energy declared bankruptcy in December. About 50 employees lost their jobs.

The plant had been started with the help of local farmers, who committed corn and money to the project. The farmers lost all their investments when the $90 million project came to an end after $130 million had been spent on it.

Construction was not complete.

Plant manager Joe Werth said construction will be finished in seven to eight weeks, and the plant will be operational in September. The plant was planned to have a capacity of 37 million gallons of ethanol per year.

Originally published by GateHouse News Service.

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